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Re: [Fab-user] A set of assorted questions.

From: Jeff Forcier
Subject: Re: [Fab-user] A set of assorted questions.
Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 23:33:23 -0400

Hi Jorge,

> I'm new here but not a newbie :) Let me tell you I'm failing on love
> with fabric, this is something I have been wanting for a long time [...]

Glad to hear it! We're working hard to improve it constantly, too, so
the hope is that it just keep getting better.

> 1- is there a place where people post their fabfiles?

Nothing specifically for this purpose, though there is a (as of yet
small and unmanaged) wiki at http://wiki.fabfile.org. Chances are
we'll end up with a "Share your fabfiles" section there. Other folks
may end up putting theirs on e.g. Github or Bitbucket, too.

> 2- how can I run something on a single host chosen at runtime?

Depends on what you mean by runtime, but there are a plethora of
options: http://docs.fabfile.org/usage.html#execution-model

> 3- how people handle path manipulations and repetitions of commands.

As you saw, there are plans in this area (though the other day,
anyway, the path.py author's site was down. I hope it was only
temporary!). fabric.contrib.files contains some embryonic work along
these lines too, and is likely to become more solidified for 1.0.

> 4- how about a shell command?

Ditto here, again probably something that would happen in 1.0 if it
does happen. Honestly, since Fabric can be used as "just Python" now,
there's no real reason why one can't just use it via python/IPython
already, though I'm open to streamlining that particular experience if
people have ideas (again, though probably for 1.0).

> 5- I just read the archives and got a little scared by 0.9, is it
> not-production ready as in "use at your own risk" or is it "it will
> break your environment as it's half done"

More the former than the latter, especially at this point, but it's
still an alpha, as in "not only may there be bugs, but the API is not
stable either". I expect very soon now we'll move into beta, i.e.
"there may be bugs, but the API will not change", and then a final
release which is well tested.

> 6- I don't know about the 0.1 codebase but I read pretty much all of
> 0.9 and it's really nice and clean. Great to hack on it awesome work.


> 7- from the alpha notes file in the repo I'm interested in a "fabfile"
> package instead of a module. something you can use to have a huge set
> of commands organized into a directory. This way people can work on
> generic commands, for example "hg" or "svn" or "apache", etc?

Fabric is just Python, so the idea is that anything that can be
imported can be used as a "fabfile", whether it's a single module or
an entire package. May need to tweak the code further for that to be
fully realized, but the idea is there. The end result of such an
import should just be something that exposes one or more callable
objects, which are what one invokes with the 'fab' tool or with other
Python code.

In terms of organization, I'm hoping we can get some namespace type
stuff (possibly similar to Cap/Rake's "foo:bar:baz") in for 1.0,
perhaps simply allowing for the usual dot notation or something -- but
I haven't really started thinking about that yet.


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