GUI-based build system

Discussion in 'Python' started by Hung Jung Lu, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Hung Jung Lu

    Hung Jung Lu Guest

    Hi,

    Does anyone know whether there is any generic GUI-based build system
    around? (Python-based would be great. Also, for now I am only looking
    for Windows OS.) By "build system" I mean something similar the
    "make/makefile" system, but somewhat more
    generic/powerful/flexible/higher-level/etc, so that if you have a
    sequence (maybe even some simple conditional branches and loops) of
    system tasks to perform, you can more easily visualize the steps, and
    perhaps resume from some middle point. If it has e-mail capability to
    send out final status, even better. :) If it can work both
    interactively and a an fire-and-forget stand-alone, even better. :)

    (I don't mind writing simple wrappers to each individual tasks to
    produce standardized responses for the build system.)

    My guess is that there are many utilities like that out there already.
    Another guess is that some of them use XML for task specification. One
    more guess is that some of them are free. But, I could be wrong. :)

    thanks,

    Hung Jung
    Hung Jung Lu, Oct 29, 2003
    #1
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  2. Hung Jung Lu

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Hung Jung Lu wrote:
    >
    > Does anyone know whether there is any generic GUI-based build system
    > around? (Python-based would be great. Also, for now I am only looking
    > for Windows OS.) By "build system" I mean something similar the
    > "make/makefile" system, but somewhat more
    > generic/powerful/flexible/higher-level/etc, so that if you have a
    > sequence (maybe even some simple conditional branches and loops) of
    > system tasks to perform, you can more easily visualize the steps, and
    > perhaps resume from some middle point. If it has e-mail capability to
    > send out final status, even better. :) If it can work both
    > interactively and a an fire-and-forget stand-alone, even better. :)
    >
    > (I don't mind writing simple wrappers to each individual tasks to
    > produce standardized responses for the build system.)
    >
    > My guess is that there are many utilities like that out there already.
    > Another guess is that some of them use XML for task specification. One
    > more guess is that some of them are free. But, I could be wrong. :)


    I have another guess, and that is that given the activity in both the
    A-A-P and Scons projects, these likely-to-exist GUI systems would be
    relatively primitive in comparison and would be unsatisfactory as a
    result.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to see if a GUI could easily be
    added to either of the above systems?

    (And no, sorry, I haven't heard of any GUI version of this stuff.
    I'm also unconvinced of the use case: either of the above allow Python
    code to be written to implement the logic required, and if you need
    a GUI to visualize the steps more easily than reading Python code
    would allow, you're already in trouble with the tortuous nature of
    the logic in question, IMHO. :) )

    -Peter
    Peter Hansen, Oct 29, 2003
    #2
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  3. Hung Jung Lu

    Joe Francia Guest

    Hung Jung Lu wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > Does anyone know whether there is any generic GUI-based build system
    > around? (Python-based would be great. Also, for now I am only looking
    > for Windows OS.) By "build system" I mean something similar the
    > "make/makefile" system, but somewhat more
    > generic/powerful/flexible/higher-level/etc, so that if you have a
    > sequence (maybe even some simple conditional branches and loops) of
    > system tasks to perform, you can more easily visualize the steps, and
    > perhaps resume from some middle point. If it has e-mail capability to
    > send out final status, even better. :) If it can work both
    > interactively and a an fire-and-forget stand-alone, even better. :)
    >
    > (I don't mind writing simple wrappers to each individual tasks to
    > produce standardized responses for the build system.)
    >
    > My guess is that there are many utilities like that out there already.
    > Another guess is that some of them use XML for task specification. One
    > more guess is that some of them are free. But, I could be wrong. :)
    >


    You may want to look at Ant. ( http://ant.apache.org ) Ant is a free,
    Java-based make tool (probably usable from Jython), but "without make's
    wrinkles". It can do anything Java can do, such as send an email at the
    end of the process. It uses XML as the project makefiles. It shouldn't
    be too much work to wrap Ant in a nice wxPython (or whatever) GUI
    (especially if you can use Jython). You may also want to look at
    Eclipse ( http://www.eclipse.org ), a Java-based (but highly extensible)
    IDE which uses Ant for its build process.

    Peace,
    Joe
    Joe Francia, Oct 29, 2003
    #3
  4. Hung Jung Lu

    Hung Jung Lu Guest

    Peter Hansen <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > I have another guess, and that is that given the activity in both the
    > A-A-P and Scons projects, these likely-to-exist GUI systems would be
    > relatively primitive in comparison and would be unsatisfactory as a
    > result.


    Hmm... perhaps I should have not mentioned the expression "build
    system". I have in mind something more general than the build system
    for compiling and assembling a software package. I have in mind system
    tasks, including hitting databases, running DTS packages. That is,
    what I have in mind is not a coder's tool (which is basically an
    advanced makefile system), but an enterprise system tool for task
    management. In short, one level above. I have in mind tasks that are
    much more complicated than just a command line, that's why I mentioned
    about writing individual wrappers for every task. Of course the same
    system could be used for makefile purpose, but I would like something
    that's more general than makefile.

    Believe it or not, similar things are not uncommon in the commercial
    world. I have worked with an astronomically-priced rules engine
    product before, and that was quite similar in spirit. And GUI of
    course is a must, since we are not always dealing with programmers.
    Anyway, all this is a common need. So I'd be surprised if there is
    nothing already out there. I myself have made one smaller system like
    this before, although nothing fancy and was too specific to my
    environment back then.

    regards,

    Hung Jung
    Hung Jung Lu, Oct 29, 2003
    #4
  5. Hung Jung Lu

    John Roth Guest

    "Hung Jung Lu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Peter Hansen <> wrote in message

    news:<>...
    > > I have another guess, and that is that given the activity in both the
    > > A-A-P and Scons projects, these likely-to-exist GUI systems would be
    > > relatively primitive in comparison and would be unsatisfactory as a
    > > result.

    >
    > Hmm... perhaps I should have not mentioned the expression "build
    > system". I have in mind something more general than the build system
    > for compiling and assembling a software package. I have in mind system
    > tasks, including hitting databases, running DTS packages. That is,
    > what I have in mind is not a coder's tool (which is basically an
    > advanced makefile system), but an enterprise system tool for task
    > management. In short, one level above. I have in mind tasks that are
    > much more complicated than just a command line, that's why I mentioned
    > about writing individual wrappers for every task. Of course the same
    > system could be used for makefile purpose, but I would like something
    > that's more general than makefile.
    >
    > Believe it or not, similar things are not uncommon in the commercial
    > world. I have worked with an astronomically-priced rules engine
    > product before, and that was quite similar in spirit. And GUI of
    > course is a must, since we are not always dealing with programmers.
    > Anyway, all this is a common need. So I'd be surprised if there is
    > nothing already out there. I myself have made one smaller system like
    > this before, although nothing fancy and was too specific to my
    > environment back then.



    I thought that was what Ant did? You build a class to handle each
    task, and that class could do whatever it needed to do.

    John Roth
    >
    > regards,
    >
    > Hung Jung
    John Roth, Oct 29, 2003
    #5
  6. Hung Jung Lu

    John J. Lee Guest

    "John Roth" <> writes:

    > "Hung Jung Lu" <> wrote in message
    > news:...

    [...]
    > > Hmm... perhaps I should have not mentioned the expression "build
    > > system". I have in mind something more general than the build system
    > > for compiling and assembling a software package. I have in mind system
    > > tasks, including hitting databases, running DTS packages. That is,
    > > what I have in mind is not a coder's tool (which is basically an
    > > advanced makefile system), but an enterprise system tool for task


    We'll assume you're not a native speaker, and forgive you for using
    the 'e' word in a technical forum ;-)


    > > management. In short, one level above. I have in mind tasks that are
    > > much more complicated than just a command line, that's why I mentioned


    AFAICT, "much more complicated than just a command line" doesn't mean
    much. You can stick anything in a program runnable from the command
    line.


    > > about writing individual wrappers for every task. Of course the same
    > > system could be used for makefile purpose, but I would like something
    > > that's more general than makefile.


    "Much more general" *how* exactly? make is already pretty general,
    though it tries quite hard to hide it under layers of default rules,
    recursive builds, and other nastiness. It solves the dependency
    problem.

    [...]
    > I thought that was what Ant did? You build a class to handle each
    > task, and that class could do whatever it needed to do.


    I thought that was what *make* did! Seriously, though I truly hate
    the beast, make is just as powerful as any other build dependency
    system. There are hard cases (LaTeX springs to mind), but I think the
    other build systems have just the same trouble with those cases: you
    just have to write special-purpose scripts for those (and then run
    them from make, or whatever). No GUI, of course.

    Scons' feature list is definitely looking impressive, and the author's
    prior experience with cons is very reassuring...


    John
    John J. Lee, Oct 30, 2003
    #6
  7. Hung Jung Lu

    Hung Jung Lu Guest

    Joe Francia <> wrote in message news:<kVVnb.3904673$>...
    >
    > You may want to look at Ant. ( http://ant.apache.org ) Ant is a free,
    > Java-based make tool (probably usable from Jython), but "without make's
    > wrinkles". It can do anything Java can do, such as send an email at the
    > end of the process. It uses XML as the project makefiles.


    Thanks. I just took a quick look at Ant. Ant comes closer than SCons,
    and it's a good thing that they allow external tasks. I need to look
    at it a bit more. But I think that at this moment, building a generic
    Python-based system from scratch seems to be the way to go. Java is
    not the right language. I'd choose Perl over Java for system tasks,
    and Python over Perl.

    One more observation is: tasks in build systems are particularly
    suitable for Aspect-Oriented Programming features. So, there may be a
    point to start everything from scratch to incorporate new approaches.

    regards,

    Hung Jung
    Hung Jung Lu, Oct 30, 2003
    #7
  8. "Hung Jung Lu" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > Does anyone know whether there is any generic GUI-based build system
    > around? (Python-based would be great. Also, for now I am only looking
    > for Windows OS.) By "build system" I mean something similar the
    > "make/makefile" system, but somewhat more
    > generic/powerful/flexible/higher-level/etc, so that if you have a
    > sequence (maybe even some simple conditional branches and loops) of
    > system tasks to perform, you can more easily visualize the steps, and
    > perhaps resume from some middle point. If it has e-mail capability to
    > send out final status, even better. :) If it can work both
    > interactively and a an fire-and-forget stand-alone, even better. :)
    >
    > (I don't mind writing simple wrappers to each individual tasks to
    > produce standardized responses for the build system.)
    >
    > My guess is that there are many utilities like that out there already.
    > Another guess is that some of them use XML for task specification. One
    > more guess is that some of them are free. But, I could be wrong. :)
    >
    > thanks,
    >
    > Hung Jung


    In the windows world, here are a couple of commercial tools that do stuff
    like this:

    Visual Build Pro: http://www.kinook.com/VisBuildPro/
    FinalBuilder: http://www.atozedsoftware.com/finalbuilder/index.html

    -Chris
    Chris Tavares, Oct 31, 2003
    #8
  9. Hi,

    Hung Jung Lu wrote:
    >
    > Thanks. I just took a quick look at Ant. Ant comes closer than SCons,
    > and it's a good thing that they allow external tasks. I need to look
    > at it a bit more. But I think that at this moment, building a generic
    > Python-based system from scratch seems to be the way to go. Java is
    > not the right language. I'd choose Perl over Java for system tasks,
    > and Python over Perl.
    >


    In what detail does it come closer than SCons, if you want it be in Python?

    Before doing something from scratch, I'd certainly investigate how to
    build it on top of SCons. It seems very well-thought-out and stable and
    also mature. Consider that the project lead has several years of
    experience (with the Perl-based Cons tool) and that the design of SCons
    actually won the Software Carpentry contest.

    Also, don't be fooled in thinking that SCons is only the command line
    tool. You can use the underlying library fully independent of the SCons
    command line machinery to build your GUI tool.

    Just my 2 cent.

    hth

    Werner
    Werner Schiendl, Oct 31, 2003
    #9
  10. Hung Jung Lu

    Hung Jung Lu Guest

    Werner Schiendl <> wrote in message news:<3fa23da3$-automation.co.at>...
    >
    > In what detail does it come closer than SCons, if you want it be in Python?


    It uses XML. It seems to step a little bit more beyond building
    software. In their FAQ they showed example of e-mail notification,
    etc.

    > Before doing something from scratch, I'd certainly investigate how to
    > build it on top of SCons.


    I truly regret I mentioned the words "build system". I mentioned this
    name because I did not know what else to call it. To give you an idea
    what I am talking about, look at what Chris Tavares has mentioned:

    FinalBuilder: http://www.atozedsoftware.com/finalbuilder/index.html

    and this other product:

    http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~openflow/index4.html
    http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~openflow/Tour/oftour.chm

    What I have in mind is about half-way between these two products. So
    perhaps I should call it "Workflow Management System" or "Enterprise
    Task Managment System".

    In particular, GUI is important, and by GUI I mean you can visualize
    the tasks including the conditional branches and perhaps even loops.

    regards,

    Hung Jung
    Hung Jung Lu, Oct 31, 2003
    #10
  11. Hi,

    Hung Jung Lu wrote:
    >
    > What I have in mind is about half-way between these two products. So
    > perhaps I should call it "Workflow Management System" or "Enterprise
    > Task Managment System".
    >
    > In particular, GUI is important, and by GUI I mean you can visualize
    > the tasks including the conditional branches and perhaps even loops.
    >


    I could imagine that it would be easier for the group to help you with
    ideas if you provided use-cases (so who will use the system to achive what).

    Maybe you cannot disclose more details, but if I think it might help.

    hth

    Werner
    Werner Schiendl, Oct 31, 2003
    #11
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