Rake - surprisingly enjoyable

I’ve never really liked make files, I don’t think I’ve ever had to write enough C to really appreciate (or just tolerate) them, so I was a little dismissive of Rake - and I was mostly wrong.

Now we’re adding a new member to the systems team I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our tool chain - what knowledge assumptions it makes, which parts are still more manual than I’d like and where the tool chain has gaps (this is the most annoying one for me) and rake seemed like a potential addition to encode some of that process knowledge in to a tool. I’ve only added little rakefiles here and there but they do make certain tasks nicer (plus I like the inline descs).

I’ve not yet worked out any general rules for when to use a shell script and when to use rake but if nothing else it’s helping me spend some time on my ruby skills. The best rake starting points I found were Martin Fowlers rake article and the rake release notes.