[Nitro] General inquiry about Reap

James Britt james_b at neurogami.com
Tue Apr 25 09:52:10 EDT 2006

TRANS wrote:
> On 4/25/06, James Britt <james_b at neurogami.com> wrote:
>> ...
>>In writing this I'm reminded of when people look for ways to convince
>>their Java-hooked bosses to use Ruby.
> Very good points. Thanks James. The transition to yet another tool is
> understandably steep. And has to be worth the effort. I would like to
> lower the bar as much as possible while increasing the worth of
> corssing over at the same time.

Thank you.  I have to believe Reap has cool stuff; it's just that time 
gets tighter and tighter, and I really do have to sort of sell 
technological variations to co-workers and clients.

> At one point Reap actually went through a phase of being just a set or
> Rake tasks. But it lacked a little bit for it, so I decided against
> that route. Nonethless I'm asking partly b/c I am wondering about
> making it, at least, more like Rake.
> Note you can already use Reap via Rake just as if Reap were nothing
> but a set of tasks --I just created Rake interfaces for each Reap
> task. It wasn;t hard. But I find it more trouble than it's worth. Why
> create a Rakefile when you already have the tasks availabe to you just
> by calling reap?

If all you have.need is Reap, then I agree.  But someone already has a 
Rake investment, then exposing new tools through a familiar interface 
seems a really good way to get them used.  That was one motivation to 
rewrite my packing code as Rake tasks.  I knew that my teammates would 
have to know about Rake, and learn Rake conventions and such, so might 
as well build on that.  Plus I like Rake; Jim has done a really good 
job.  (BTW, if you ever get a chance to see him give a presentation, I 
lore you to watch.  He's smart, funny, entertaining, and you'll learn 
stuff.  Plus he juggles, which earns Cool Geek points in my book.)

>>So: What's the elevator pitch for Reap?
> Well, first understand Reap's core intent is like that of Meta Project
> (if you've heard of that project) --a project assitant that makes it
> easy to do many of the common chores. For instance Reap makes it
> pretty easy to generate .tar.gz, .gem and .deb packages in one fell
> swoop. Another intersting task is it's ability to extract unit tests
> from source comments. 

Ah, I've not seen that.  Very slick.

> It also has a testing task that has very nice
> output and isolates each test in it's own process. And it will release
> to Rubyforge right easy too. Plus others. So that's one thing. Like I
> said the ability to create cusotm tasks simply evolved out the
> dedicated tasks I was building, and it's still evolving, but wan't the
> original intent.
> But the main thing that really sets Reap apart is the ProjectInfo
> file. It's a YAML file that describes the project and how things need
> to be handled for it. In this way there's a single resource for all
> this information that can reused by any task. And becuase it is pure
> data and not Ruby code, that information is available in a very clear
> and descernable way to any other tool, or human for that matter.
> Do check out the webpage (albiet still a bit rough).
>   http://reap.rubyforge.org

Thanks, will do.

James Britt

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