I'm just getting started with Ruby and my first comment is "at last!". I've 
been getting fed up with Perl 's oddities for a while and Python and I 
disagree on religious grounds but Ruby is almost exactly what I've been 
looking for!!

And now, to the point: I'd like to develop an extension to Ruby and to this 
end I've been looking at the way extensions are built and I've got a 
suggestion for the Ruby developers:

Why not integrate a decent build tool like Jam 
(http://www.perforce.com/jam/jam.html) into Ruby directly so that 

(a) you don't need one of the myriad versions of make(1) on your machine to 
build an extension.

(b) extension developers can just specify their extensions in terms of the 
libraries and source files involved and let Jam/Ruby take care of the build.

(c) You don't need your makefile generator to dance around the differences in 
the make versions.

I pick Jam because (i) i love it ;-) (ii) Jamfiles are platform independent 
(with a little preparation), small, and easy to read/write. (iii) you can 
build the default build environment into the binary (iv) make sucks.

It would be quite a reorganisation of the build environment so I don't expect 
immediate adoption :-), but moving away from the disaster-zone that is make 
can only be a good thing and it'd be nice to see Ruby leading the way.

Worth a look?

Tony
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Tony Smith
tony at smee dot org
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