Source

SCons / doc / user / preface.in

  1
  2
  3
  4
  5
  6
  7
  8
  9
 10
 11
 12
 13
 14
 15
 16
 17
 18
 19
 20
 21
 22
 23
 24
 25
 26
 27
 28
 29
 30
 31
 32
 33
 34
 35
 36
 37
 38
 39
 40
 41
 42
 43
 44
 45
 46
 47
 48
 49
 50
 51
 52
 53
 54
 55
 56
 57
 58
 59
 60
 61
 62
 63
 64
 65
 66
 67
 68
 69
 70
 71
 72
 73
 74
 75
 76
 77
 78
 79
 80
 81
 82
 83
 84
 85
 86
 87
 88
 89
 90
 91
 92
 93
 94
 95
 96
 97
 98
 99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
232
233
234
235
236
237
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
312
313
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
352
353
354
355
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
363
364
365
366
367
368
369
370
371
372
373
374
375
376
377
378
379
380
381
382
383
384
385
386
387
388
389
390
391
392
393
394
395
396
397
398
399
400
401
402
403
404
405
406
407
408
409
410
411
412
413
414
415
416
417
418
419
420
421
422
423
424
425
<!--

  __COPYRIGHT__

  Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining
  a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the
  "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including
  without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
  distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to
  permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to
  the following conditions:

  The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included
  in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

  THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY
  KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
  WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
  NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE
  LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION
  OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
  WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

-->

  <para>

  Thank you for taking the time to read about &SCons;.
  &SCons; is a next-generation
  software construction tool,
  or make tool--that is, a software utility
  for building software (or other files)
  and keeping built software up-to-date
  whenever the underlying input files change.

  </para>

  <para>

  The most distinctive thing about &SCons;
  is that its configuration files are
  actually <emphasis>scripts</emphasis>,
  written in the &Python; programming language.
  This is in contrast to most alternative build tools,
  which typically invent a new language to
  configure the build.
  &SCons; still has a learning curve, of course,
  because you have to know what functions to call
  to set up your build properly,
  but the underlying syntax used should be familiar
  to anyone who has ever looked at a Python script.

  </para>

  <para>

  Paradoxically,
  using Python as the configuration file format
  makes &SCons;
  <emphasis>easier</emphasis>
  for non-programmers to learn
  than the cryptic languages of other build tools,
  which are usually invented by programmers for other programmers.
  This is in no small part due to the
  consistency and readability that are built in to Python.
  It just so happens that making a real, live
  scripting language the basis for the
  configuration files
  makes it a snap for more accomplished programmers
  to do more complicated things with builds,
  as necessary.

  </para>

  <!--

  <section>
  <title>Why &SCons;?</title>

    <para>

    &SCons; is a response to a perennial problem:
    building software is harder than it should be.
    In a nutshell:  the old, reliable model of the
    venerable and ubiquitous &Make; program
    has had a hard time keeping up with
    how complicated building software has become.
    The fact that &Make; has kept up as well as it has is impressive,
    and a testament to how the simplicity.
    But anyone who has wrestled with &Automake; and &Autoconf;
    to try to guarantee that a bit of software
    will build correctly on multiple platforms
    can tell you that it takes a lot of work to get right.

    </para>

  </section>

  -->

  <section>
  <title>&SCons; Principles</title>

    <para>

    There are a few overriding principles
    we try to live up to in designing and implementing &SCons:

    </para>

    <variablelist>

      <varlistentry>
      <term>Correctness</term>

      <listitem>
      <para>

      First and foremost,
      by default, &SCons; guarantees a correct build
      even if it means sacrificing performance a little.
      We strive to guarantee the build is correct
      regardless of how the software being built is structured,
      how it may have been written,
      or how unusual the tools are that build it.

      </para>
      </listitem>
      </varlistentry>

      <varlistentry>
      <term>Performance</term>

      <listitem>
      <para>

      Given that the build is correct,
      we try to make &SCons; build software
      as quickly as possible.
      In particular, wherever we may have needed to slow
      down the default &SCons; behavior to guarantee a correct build,
      we also try to make it easy to speed up &SCons;
      through optimization options that let you trade off
      guaranteed correctness in all end cases for
      a speedier build in the usual cases.

      </para>
      </listitem>
      </varlistentry>

      <varlistentry>
      <term>Convenience</term>

      <listitem>
      <para>

      &SCons; tries to do as much for you out of the box as reasonable,
      including detecting the right tools on your system
      and using them correctly to build the software.

      </para>
      </listitem>
      </varlistentry>

    </variablelist>

    <para>

    In a nutshell, we try hard to make &SCons; just
    "do the right thing" and build software correctly,
    with a minimum of hassles.

    </para>

  </section>

  <!--

  <section>
  <title>History</title>

    <para>

    &SCons; originated with a design
    that was submitted to the Software Carpentry
    design competition in 2000.

    </para>

    <para>

    &SCons; is the direct descendant
    of a Perl utility called &Cons;.
    &Cons; in turn based some of its ideas on &Jam;,
    a build tool from Perforce Systems.

    </para>

    <para>

    XXX history of SCons

    </para>

  </section>

  -->

  <!--

  <section>
  <title>Conventions</title>

    <para>

    XXX conventions used in this manual

    </para>

  </section>

  -->

  <section>
  <title>A Caveat About This Guide's Completeness</title>

  <para>

  One word of warning as you read through this Guide:
  Like too much Open Source software out there,
  the &SCons; documentation isn't always
  kept up-to-date with the available features.
  In other words,
  there's a lot that &SCons; can do that
  isn't yet covered in this User's Guide.
  (Come to think of it,
  that also describes a lot of proprietary software, doesn't it?)

  </para>

  <para>

  Although this User's Guide isn't as complete as we'd like it to be,
  our development process does emphasize
  making sure that the &SCons; man page is kept up-to-date
  with new features.
  So if you're trying to figure out how to do something
  that &SCons; supports
  but can't find enough (or any) information here,
  it would be worth your while to look
  at the man page to see if the information is covered there.
  And if you do,
  maybe you'd even consider contributing
  a section to the User's Guide
  so the next person looking for
  that information won't have to
  go through the same thing...?

  </para>

  </section>

  <section>
  <title>Acknowledgements</title>

    <para>

    &SCons; would not exist without a lot of help
    from a lot of people,
    many of whom may not even be aware
    that they helped or served as inspiration.
    So in no particular order,
    and at the risk of leaving out someone:

    </para>

    <para>

    First and foremost,
    &SCons; owes a tremendous debt to Bob Sidebotham,
    the original author of the classic Perl-based &Cons; tool
    which Bob first released to the world back around 1996.
    Bob's work on Cons classic provided the underlying architecture
    and model of specifying a build configuration
    using a real scripting language.
    My real-world experience working on Cons
    informed many of the design decisions in SCons,
    including the improved parallel build support,
    making Builder objects easily definable by users,
    and separating the build engine from the wrapping interface.

    </para>

    <para>

    Greg Wilson was instrumental in getting
    &SCons; started as a real project
    when he initiated the Software Carpentry design
    competition in February 2000.
    Without that nudge,
    marrying the advantages of the Cons classic
    architecture with the readability of Python
    might have just stayed no more than a nice idea.

    </para>

    <para>

    The entire &SCons; team have been
    absolutely wonderful to work with,
    and &SCons; would be nowhere near as useful a
    tool without the energy, enthusiasm
    and time people have contributed over the past few years.
    The "core team"
    of Chad Austin, Anthony Roach, Charles Crain,
    Steve Leblanc, Gary Oberbrunner, Greg Spencer and Christoph Wiedemann
    have been great about reviewing my (and other) changes
    and catching problems before they get in the code base.
    Of particular technical note:
    Anthony's outstanding and innovative work on the tasking engine
    has given &SCons; a vastly superior parallel build model;
    Charles has been the master of the crucial Node infrastructure;
    Christoph's work on the Configure infrastructure
    has added crucial Autoconf-like functionality;
    and Greg has provided excellent support
    for Microsoft Visual Studio.

    </para>

    <para>

    Special thanks to David Snopek for contributing
    his underlying "Autoscons" code that formed
    the basis of Christoph's work with the Configure functionality.
    David was extremely generous in making
    this code available to &SCons;,
    given that he initially released it under the GPL
    and &SCons; is released under a less-restrictive MIT-style license.

    </para>

    <!--

    <para>

    &SCons; has received contributions
    from many other people, of course:
    Matt Balvin (extending long command-line support on Windows),
    Allen Bierbaum (extensions and fixes to Options),
    Steve Christensen (help text sorting and function action signature fixes),
    Michael Cook (avoiding losing signal bits from executed commands),
    Derrick 'dman' Hudson (),
    Alex Jacques (work on the Windows scons.bat file),
    Stephen Kennedy (performance enhancements),
    Lachlan O'Dea (SharedObject() support for masm
    and normalized paths for the WhereIs() function),
    Damyan Pepper (keeping output like Make),
    Jeff Petkau (significant fixes for CacheDir and other areas),
    Stefan Reichor (Ghostscript support),
    Zed Shaw (Append() and Replace() environment methods),
    Terrel Shumway (build and test fixes, as well as the SCons Wiki)
    and
    sam th (dynamic checks for utilities).

    </para>

    -->

    <para>

    Thanks to Peter Miller
    for his splendid change management system, &Aegis;,
    which has provided the &SCons; project
    with a robust development methodology from day one,
    and which showed me how you could
    integrate incremental regression tests into
    a practical development cycle
    (years before eXtreme Programming arrived on the scene).

    </para>

    <para>

    And last, thanks to Guido van Rossum
    for his elegant scripting language,
    which is the basis not only for the &SCons; implementation,
    but for the interface itself.

    </para>

  </section>

  <section>
  <title>Contact</title>

    <para>

    The best way to contact people involved with SCons,
    including the author,
    is through the SCons mailing lists.

    </para>

    <para>

    If you want to ask general questions about how to use &SCons;
    send email to &scons-users;.

    </para>

    <para>

    If you want to contact the &SCons; development community directly,
    send email to &scons-devel;.

    </para>

    <para>

    If you want to receive announcements about &SCons,
    join the low-volume &scons-announce; mailing list.

    </para>

  </section>
Tip: Filter by directory path e.g. /media app.js to search for public/media/app.js.
Tip: Use camelCasing e.g. ProjME to search for ProjectModifiedEvent.java.
Tip: Filter by extension type e.g. /repo .js to search for all .js files in the /repo directory.
Tip: Separate your search with spaces e.g. /ssh pom.xml to search for src/ssh/pom.xml.
Tip: Use ↑ and ↓ arrow keys to navigate and return to view the file.
Tip: You can also navigate files with Ctrl+j (next) and Ctrl+k (previous) and view the file with Ctrl+o.
Tip: You can also navigate files with Alt+j (next) and Alt+k (previous) and view the file with Alt+o.