Sunday, July 08, 2012

Shake ICFP paper

My ICFP 2012 Shake paper is now online: Shake Before Building - Replacing Make with Haskell. From the abstract:

Most complex software projects are compiled using a build tool (e.g. make), which runs commands in an order satisfying user-defined dependencies. Unfortunately, most build tools require all dependencies to be specified before the build starts. This restriction makes many dependency patterns difficult to express, especially those involving files generated at build time. We show how to eliminate this restriction, allowing additional dependencies to be specified while building. We have implemented our ideas in the Haskell library Shake, and have used Shake to write a complex build system which compiles millions of lines of code.

There are two primary sources of documentation for Shake, the ICFP paper (as above) and the package documentation. The ICFP paper covers the theory, including how Shake relates to other tools (specifically make) and general remarks about how Shake is designed/implemented and how you can build things on top of it. The package documentation gives concrete examples of using the package and an exhaustive list of all functions available.

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