Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ruby and a clue on DAST

Probably the best thing about GSoC is going to be the fantastically talented people you get to meet along the way. This week I had a short chat with yuesefa from Ruby and he pointed me in the direction of Ruby Rake (make done the Ruby way.) Reading up on Rake, I realized three things:
1. Ruby is a very cool and and very conceptually advanced language. Martin Fowler is a Ruby and Rake fan. It's not praised in a utilitarian way like Python, which is used every and has tons of libraries and bindings. People talk about Ruby more like it's literature than code.
2. A significant segment of Ruby programmers may be insane. This Ruby book - Why’s (Poignant) Guide to Ruby reads like Bruce Eckel on acid.
3. DAST is just a build tool. It's like a Ant project for Drupal. You have build inputs, configurations, outputs and targets which you specify in an XML file. You just write tasks for the build process.

Further investigation along (3) turned up Phing - a PHPized Ant variant which seems to be exactly what I need to create DAST. So, for now at least, it seems my GSoC project has been conceptually reduced to writing Phing tasks.

Hmm..already Ruby seems to be altering my brain in subtle ways...

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