Source

SCons / doc / design / intro.sgml

<!--

  Copyright (c) 2001, 2002, 2003 Steven Knight

  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>

   The &SCons; tool provides an easy-to-use, feature-rich interface
   for constructing software.  Architecturally, &SCons; separates
   its dependency analysis and external object management into an
   interface-independent Build Engine that could be embedded in any
   software system that can run Python.

 </para>

 <para>

   At the command line, &SCons; presents an easily-grasped tool
   where configuration files are Python scripts, reducing the need
   to learn new build-tool syntax. Inexperienced users can use
   intelligent methods that ``do the right thing'' to build software
   with a minimum of fuss. Sophisticated users can use a rich set
   of underlying features for finer control of the build process,
   including mechanisms for easily extending the build process to new
   file types.
   
 </para>
 
 <para>
 
   Dependencies are tracked using digital signatures,
   which provide more robust dependency analysis than file time
   stamps. Implicit dependencies are determined automatically by
   scanning the contents of source files, avoiding the need for
   laborious and fragile maintenance of static lists of dependencies in
   configuration files.
   
 </para>

 <para>

   The &SCons; tool supports use of files from one or more central code
   repositories, a mechanism for caching derived files, and parallel
   builds.  The tool also includes a framework for sharing build
   environments, which allows system administrators or integrators to
   define appropriate build parameters for use by other users.

 </para>

<section id="sect-document">
 <title>About This Document</title>

 <para>

   This document is an ongoing work-in-progress to write down the ideas
   and tradeoffs that have gone, and will go into, the &SCons; design.
   As such, this is intended primarily for use by developers and others
   working on &SCons;, although it is also intended to serve as a
   detailed overview of &SCons; for other interested parties.  It will
   be continually updated and evolve, and will likely overlap with other
   documentation produced by the project.  Sections of this document
   that deal with syntax, for example, may move or be copied into a user
   guide or reference manual.

 </para>

 <para>

   So please don't assume that everything mentioned here has been
   decided and carved in stone.  If you have ideas for improvements, or
   questions about things that don't seem to make any sense, please help
   improve the design by speaking up about them.

 </para>

<REMARK>
Sections marked like this
(prefixed with <literal>RATIONALE:</literal> in the HTML,
surrounded by <literal>BEGIN RATIONALE:</literal>
and <literal>END RATIONALE:</literal>
in the printed documentatio)
are DocBook REMARKs,
comments about the document
rather than actual document.
I've used these to mark sections that need work,
but also to cite some open design issues.
If you have input on any of these marked issues,
I'm especially eager to hear it.
</REMARK>

</section>