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Software Build Systems: Principles and Experience

Book Description

“This book represents a thorough and extensive treatment of the software build process including the choices, benefits, and challenges of a well designed build process. I recommend it not only to all software build engineers but to all software developers since a well designed build process is key to an effective software development process.”

Kevin Bodie, Director Software Development, Pitney Bowes Inc.

“An excellent and detailed explanation of build systems, an important but often overlooked part of software development projects. The discussion of productivity as related to build systems is, alone, well worth the time spent reading this book.”

John M. Pantone, Objectech Corporation, VP, IT Educator and Course Developer

“Peter Smith provides an interesting and accessible look into the world of software build systems, distilling years of experience and covering virtually every type of tool in the build engineer’s toolbox. Well organized, well written, and very thorough; I would recommend this book to anyone with a build system under their responsibility.”

Jeff Overbey, Project Co-Lead, Photran

Software Build Systems teaches how to think about building software. It surveys the tools and techniques for building software products and the ways things go wrong. This book will appeal to those new to build systems as well as experienced build system engineers.”

Monte Davidoff, Software Development Consultant, Alluvial Software, Inc.

Inadequate build systems can dramatically impact developer productivity. Bad dependencies, false compile errors, failed software images, slow compilation, and time-wasting manual processes are just some of the byproducts of a subpar build system. In Software Build Systems, software productivity expert Peter Smith shows you how to implement build systems that overcome all these problems, so you can deliver reliable software more rapidly, at lower cost.

Smith explains the core principles underlying highly efficient build systems, surveying both system features and usage scenarios. Next, he encapsulates years of experience in creating and maintaining diverse build systems–helping you make well-informed choices about tools and practices, and avoid common traps and pitfalls. Throughout, he shares a wide range of practical examples and lessons from multiple environments, including Java, C++, C, and C#. Coverage includes

• Mastering build system concepts, including source trees, build tools, and compilation tools

• Comparing five leading build tools: GNU Make, Ant, SCons, CMake, and the Eclipse IDE’s integrated build features

• Ensuring accurate dependency checking and efficient incremental compilation

• Using metadata to assist debugging, profiling, and source code documentation

• Packaging software for installation on your target machine

• Best practices for managing complex version-control systems, build machines, and compilation tools

If you’re a developer, this book will illuminate the issues involved in building and maintaining the build system that’s best for your team. If you’re a manager, you’ll discover how to evaluate your team’s build system and improve its effectiveness. And if you’re a build “guru,” you’ll learn how to optimize the performance and scalability of your build system, no matter how demanding your requirements are.