Boson: A Next Generation Task Framework for Ruby
Boson is a new command/task framework for Ruby by Gabriel Horner (of Hirb fame). Gabriel seems to be trying to supersede Rake, the Ruby "make" equivalent, and from first glance Boson seems to provide many benefits from the "reinvent the wheel" philosophy.
Anyone who's built a Rakefile knows it's not the most straightforward syntax, so Boson's approach of using regular Ruby code in the shape of methods added to a module is refreshing. Tasks are methods, methods are tasks - simple. Within these methods, you can use the
options helper method and passed arguments to access command line options and other data. Another feature is that while, like with Rake (or Thor), Boson can execute commands from the command line, you can also do so from IRB (the Ruby "console").
It's always a bit of a crapshoot when new tools come out in the Ruby world. Some catch on, some don't. Gabriel has clearly put a lot of thought into Boson, though, so if enough people are fed up with using Rake for command launching, I think it could catch on. Gabriel's blog post outlines what Boson does perfectly. For those ready to shoot down Rake, though, don't forget to read John Barnette's awesome, recent On Rake post. Rake's not just about launching tasks - it's a killer dependency resolution engine at heart, and that can result in less code if you approach your problems the right way.
(Aside: Sorry for the slow week at Ruby Inside. Six days ago my wife gave birth to our daughter and since she had a C-section, I'm playing housewife. I have quickly discovered if you're a housewife - or husband! - you have about zero hours left at the end of the day to do any other work.. I shall try my best!)
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