<!DOCTYPE sconsdoc [
<!ENTITY % scons SYSTEM "../scons.mod">
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As a next-generation build tool,
&SCons; should fundamentally
improve on its predecessors.
Rather than simply being driven by trying to
<emphasis>not</emphasis> be like previous tools,
&SCons; aims to satisfy the following goals:
The &SCons; design emphasizes
an implementable feature set
that lets users get practical, useful work done.
&SCons; is helped in this regard by its roots in &Cons;,
which has had its feature set honed by
several years of input
from a dedicated band of users.
&SCons; is intended as a portable build tool,
able to handle software construction tasks
on a variety of operating systems.
It should be possible (although not mandatory)
to use &SCons; so that the same configuration file
builds the same software correctly on,
for example, both Linux and Windows NT.
Consequently, &SCons; should hide from users
such as filename extensions
(for example, <filename>.o</filename>
XXX: enable writing portable builds without forcing it
XXX: still write non-portably for quick-and-dirty
Novice users should be able to grasp quickly
the rudiments of using &SCons; to build their software.
This extends to installing &SCons;, too.
Installation should be painless,
and the installed &SCons;
should work "out of the box"
to build most software.
This goal should be kept in mind during implementation,
when there is always a tendency to try to optimize too early.
Speed is nice, but not as important as clarity
and ease of use.
&SCons; should also provide a rich enough set of features
to accommodate building more complicated software projects.
However, the features required for
building complicated software projects
should not get in the way of novice users.
(See the previous goal.)
In other words, complexity should be available
when it's needed
but not required to get work done.
Practically, this implies that &SCons;
shouldn't be dumbed down to the point it
excludes complicated software builds.
As a key element in balancing the conflicting
needs of <literal>Usability</literal> and <literal>Utility</literal>,
&SCons; should provide mechanisms to
allow &SCons; users to share build rules,
dependency scanners, and other objects and recipes
for constructing software.
A good sharing mechanism should support
the model wherein most developers on a project
use rules and templates
that are created
and maintained by a local integrator or build-master,
&SCons; should provide mechanisms for
easily extending its capabilities,
including building new types of files,
adding new types of dependency scanning,
being able to accomodate dependencies
between objects other than files,
In addition to providing a useful command-line interface,
&SCons; should provide the right architectural
framework for embedding its dependency management
in other interfaces.
&SCons; would help strengthen other GUIs or IDEs
and the additional requirements of the
other interfaces would help broaden and solidify
the core &SCons; dependency management.
<title>Fixing &Make;'s problems</title>
To be written.
<title>Fixing &Cons;'s problems</title>
To be written.