Dovetail is a development tool that makes running builds, tests and
code coverage very easy. It's also great for running any command-line
tools you need on your project, including documentation generators.
Building an application is not just running:
> python setup.py sdist
- Building binary distributions for several target platforms
- Building the user documentation and the API docs?
- Running your unit tests, sometimes using several test frameworks?
- Installing your application in a clean virtual environment and running user tests?
- Running code quality tools like Coverage
- Tagging your code in your DVCS?
- Uploading the artifacts to a repository? That’s probably at least
an Egg, a source distribution, documentation and your web site
How can you guarantee everyone, especially the new team members, are building in the same way?
Many teams solve this by writing scripts, but that raises more questions:
- Do you have a lot of scripts lying around, each doing their own thing, and little shared code?
- Do you have operating system specific scripts that do the same thing, but on different operating systems?
- Are your scripts reliable and maintainable?
If you need to improve in these areas, Dovetail can help. Dovetail:
- Is pure Python, so the build runs everywhere and is maintainable
- Provides a simple API to externalize many common build requirements
- There are no new configuration file formats or 4GLs of abstruse XML or other syntaxes
- Makes it simple to query the build environment and adjust the build appropriately
- Audits all the build steps and decisions
- Properly catches build errors and displays the details of what went wrong
- Makes it terribly easy to automate the build in a tool like Jenkins.
A nice unexpected benefit for the maintainer was that it has become
easier to build in my IDE; I also get precisely the same build from the command line.
Dovetail does not replace Setuptools
or distutils - these are the
perfect tools for the specific build step of creating a distributable package.