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RE: sccons: what's happening?

From: Alex Jacques
Subject: RE: sccons: what's happening?
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:43:08 -0400

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the update.

Personally I don't think this is all bad. On the one hand a suite of tools
would have been nice, and would perhaps have helped the Cons approach gain
more acceptance. On the other hand Sccons would essentially be a fork. So if
it doesn't happen Cons Classic can continue to be the focus of improvements
and refinement. In that regard thanks for your continuing effort. For my
projects here at work Make is fast becoming but a bad memory.

-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden
Behalf Of Steven Knight
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2001 9:40 AM
To: Alex Jacques
Cc: cons discuss
Subject: Re: sccons: what's happening?

> "The design competitions have all been concluded. CodeSourcery is actively
> developing the testing tool (QMTest) and issue-tracking tool (QMTrack).
> Pre-release versions of these tools will be available sometime in the
> of 2001. At this time, no implementation is being done on the
> and build tools."
> As I understood it the winner of the design competition was going to be
> to develop his proposal.
> Steve: any news on what's happening with that?

Okay, I guess I can start going public here.  Here's the summary:

Although they didn't fund an implementation, Software Carpentry did
contract me for another round of design work on ScCons.  I tried
off-and-on for several months, but just couldn't muster the enthusiasm
to generate Yet Another design document...

So around about January, I decided I was just going to go ahead and
implement it on my own, and effectively resigned from the effort.
(Since I hadn't produced anything tangible towards what was contracted
for, I didn't take any Software Carpentry money for anything after the
contest itself.)

So on the side, I'm working on developing Cons-in-Python as an
independent effort.  I've renamed it Scons (Software CONStruction tool)
to distinguish it slightly from Software Carpentry, still honor its
roots, and to make it a teeny bit easier to type.  It's still a ways
from release, but I have a good amount of the infrastructure in place
(including, of course, an extensive testing infrastructure... :-). It
will currently build files, but I haven't yet coded up the dependencies
or .consign stuff; they're the next steps, followed by -j support, which
is going to be present from the beginning.

The design feels pretty clean, owing mainly to having Cons classic as
a reference for how to do most things, and how not to do some others.
My Python learning curve has been steeper than I envisioned, I imagine
mainly because I'm trying to do more intricate things right away than
is usual for a Python novice.  I don't care for the organization of
the Python documentation.  I've spent a *lot* of time searching for
things in the library only to find them in the reference section or the
tutorial, or vice versa.

Enough of the Scons infrastructure is there that I can probably, at
this point, profitably bring on board a few people who want to help
with development.  If anyone out there is interested, let me know
(particularly if you know Python well...).

> As much as I love the Perl based Cons I thought that a well designed suite
> of tools was a nice idea.

I agree.  There's no reason why Scons couldn't be part of it, if they
ever get to that point.  But I honestly don't know where Software
Carpentry is with the other parts of the effort, and as you point out,
they're not being very informative about their progress.


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