Introduction to Build Systems

  • The concept of a “build process” in projects
  • Sequence of operations from inputs to outputs
  • The role of build systems in automating these processes

What is a Build System?

  • A tool to define dependencies, targets, and rules
  • Manages and optimizes the build process
  • Examples include make, specialized tools for languages or larger projects

The Make Build System

  • One of the most common build systems
  • Uses a Makefile to define rules, targets, and dependencies
  • Example of a simple Makefile:
hello:
	echo "Hello, World"

How make Works

  • Determines the necessary steps to build a target
  • Avoids redundant builds by checking dependencies
  • Common operations like building a PDF from LaTeX sources

Dependency Management

  • Projects depend on external code or libraries
  • Repositories and tools manage these dependencies
  • Versioning ensures compatibility and stability

Semantic Versioning

  • Version format: major.minor.patch
  • Rules for updating each number based on changes
  • Helps maintain compatibility and predictability

Lock Files and Vendoring

  • Lock files specify exact versions used in a project
  • Vendoring involves copying dependencies into the project
  • Ensures control and consistency over external code

Continuous Integration Systems


Overview of CI Systems

  • Automate tasks that run on code changes
  • Common in larger projects for testing, deployment, etc.
  • Examples: Travis CI, Azure Pipelines, GitHub Actions

CI Configuration

  • Defined through files in the repository
  • Specifies actions on events like push or pull request
  • Automates testing, building, deploying, and more

Example: GitHub Pages

  • Automatic deployment of websites on push to master
  • Runs Jekyll to build the site, deploys to GitHub domain
  • Simplifies website updates and maintenance