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Re: [ecf-dev] ECF build v2 -- Build easier

Hi Scott,

Just to give you some feedback on your specification of missing elements in a Buckminster-based build system, I'd like to share some of my tribulations.

As I have been an early adopter of Buckminster, I have a solid two years of experience running a complete build system with said tool. I have been negotiating recently with the project lead to return some of the proprietary build actors (e.g. a very necessary packaging actor), but surprisingly met resistance in terms of those actors considered a reinvention of the wheel (sic!), as I should have written Ant scripts to do the same work, and call those Ant scripts using Buckminster.

Needless to say, I disagree with this position. The original appeal of Buckminster was, from my point of view, to move beyond the Ant script bonanza. I can only testify that our pursuit of what we believed the vision to be, worked incredibly well, and we managed to roll this thing out in the company over different teams without the headaches of getting started with Buckminster as it still stands today. Unfortunately, that is no longer the road the Buckminster wagon seems interested in traveling on.

In addition, I was surprised to see the project itself had made no substantial progress over a very long time, at least in terms of what you might expect from a product maturing and evolving as they normally do.

Ironically, we managed to get Buckminster to do everything a releng nerd desires with our proprietary extensions, already years ago, yet a lot of that stuff is still not available today. As much as it pains me to say this, I have become very skeptical about the project. I will spare you a description of the look on my face when I discovered that, apart from an overhaul to replace overlapping parts with p2 (which came out of left field to duplicate a lot of functionality), now it seems that this particular build tool seems lost without EMF, thus prompting the introduction of EMF into B. But don't expect it to make your packages for you, or signing of those for that matter. You'll need an Ant script to that.

The problem I see is that there is no reason to consider moving to Buckminster from an existing system, as it stands today. You would need to contribute additional components yourself, first. As a project manager, I would like to see a compelling reason to warrant such an effort under the ECF project umbrella. Speaking from experience, hooking yourself onto the Buckminster train means a lot of work in terms of keeping up to date with updates and bugfixes. We got tired of the heavy maintainance of our plug-ins and simply forked and never looked back. Not an option anymore given Buckminster's status in the ecosystem. Even though I'm still considering forking myself (on the last EMF-free code base), and have a complete snapshot at my disposal to that end, right now I'm checking out if it simply doesn't make more sense to see if building something on top of p2 isn't the way to go. It would appear p2 has almost made Buckminster redundant; I'm still investigating the validity of that claim.

Any which way, sounds like hell of a lot of work still to do before you can actually build and release. Can you afford that?

Best regards,

Scott Lewis wrote:
Hi Folks,

Now that Galileo is past us, many of us would like to move toward fully using our new (and much improved) automated build and test system. Markus and Ted have already done quite a lot of work to get Hudson and Buckminster installed, configured, and it's now running at the OSU Open Source lab sight. Overall, we're actually pretty close to replacing/removing our existing builder with this new, better, easier, more managable one.
There are, however, several things to address/add in the new build system before we can pull the plug on the existing builder:

In broad strokes, we need to:

1) Add bundle signing (for dev.eclipse.org build)
2) Setup/refactor the features so that we can build
a) weekly platform integration builds (i.e. filetransfer and ECF core)
b) auto, daily, integration and release builds (on-demand for release...others can be automated)
3) Add a builder for the features/bundles at OSU OSL (including JMS/ActiveMQ, Yahoo provider, TweetHub (product), and perhaps other things...e.g. SOC student work)
4) Add automated junit testing
5) Add support for Markus' work on distributing testing framework
6+) The million other things that have to be done for 'build system care and feeding' :)
7) The other things that I've forgotten

I think the first thing to do is to arrange to have a conference call with Markus (Lemmy)...so Markus can explain and demo the buckminster and hudson-based builder...and those of us that will be working with it can know what's happening, how it can be configured/added to to setup the things listed above (as well as others).

So if Markus would respond to this email with an indication of the days/times (UTC) he would be available for hosting a shared screen session (with screen sharing tech of choice) over next two weeks we'll set it up and then have it.
If you are interested in participating in the ECF building/deployment process (which I strongly encourage, BTW...even if you aren't a committer)...please try to come to this conference call. This is an area where we can/could absolutely use some further contributions from the community, as a couple of us (Ted and Scott) are wanting to spend more time/effort this year on development, and have 'paid our dues'. It's also great experience (IMHO), as building/deploying for any significant system is always (and always going to be IMHO), a technical, process, and community challenge.



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