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<para>

  &SCons; is a software construction tool (build tool, or make tool)
  implemented in Python, which uses Python scripts as "configuration
  files" for software builds. Based on the design which won the
  Software Carpentry build tool competition, &SCons solves a number of
  problems associated with other build tools, especially including the
  classic and ubiquitous &Make; itself.

</para>

<para>

  Distinctive features of &SCons; include: a modular design that
  lends itself to being embedded in other applications; a global
  view of all dependencies in the source tree; an improved model for
  parallel (<option>-j</option>) builds; automatic scanning of files for
  dependencies; use of MD5 signatures for deciding whether a file
  is up-to-date; use of traditional file timestamps instead of
  MD5 signatures available as an option;
  use of Python functions or objects to build target files; easy user
  extensibility.

</para>

<para>

  This paper discusses the goals of the &SCons; project, gives an overview
  of the design of &SCons; itself, describes the development process used,
  and discusses future plans and directions for the tool.

</para>