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FinalBuild vs. VisualBuild?


http://www.visualbuild.com
http://www.atozedsoftware.com/finalbuilder.html

Has anyone compared both of these systems? Any comments?

Mark Zeren
Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Yep, had a look at both recently.  In short FinalBuilder tops VisualBuild in pretty much everything... infact I looked at visualbuild about a year ago and the new version looks very similar to FinalBuilder.  FinalBuilder has tons more actions you can choose from and it's UI feels alot better than VisualBuild.  In the end though, you'd be doing yourself a favour whichever one you bought.

Tate
Thursday, August 15, 2002

OK, so what advantage does this offer over "make"?

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, August 15, 2002

The same sort of advantages an IDE has over a text editor with a command line compiler.

Also, make doesn't have integration build in with 3rd party products, you'd have to hand code the command line yourself.

Tate
Thursday, August 15, 2002

I see form over function prevails again in the land of "Visual" dumming down.

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, August 15, 2002

I code just fine with vim, perforce, perl, and make!

Mark
Thursday, August 15, 2002

I for one am not impressed by some people's attitudes on this thread.  The important thing is the job you do and the problem solved, not the tool you use to do it.  Period.

If a visual <build, whatever> tool can't solve my problem, I'll use something else, but if it can, I don't understand why I shouldn't use it.  Particularly if it is extensible enough for me to use scripts and command line from.

It's not that I'm incapable of writing it myself in Perl, or understanding and modifying someone else's work, and then being forever responsible for it because I'm the closest thing to a Perl guru at the company...I just have other things to do with my time.

Mikayla
Thursday, August 15, 2002

I see that it integrates with VS.Net but can it compile .Net apps without visual studio build files? I'm not sure how it works so clue me in. We currently use Nant and previously used nmake, but this looks promising.

Ian Stallings
Thursday, August 15, 2002

Nant?  Do you mean Ant?  Or is this something I've missed.

Has anyone looked at Komodo from Active State as a Perl IDE?  Seems like Perl is the genreal Scripting/sys admin language the VisBuild and FinBuild are supposed to be.

Adam
Thursday, August 15, 2002

Nant is an implementation of the ideas behind Ant in the .Net framework. So, same general idea, but you write your tasks in C# instead.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, August 15, 2002

>> ... but if it can, I don't understand why I shouldn't use it. Particularly if it is extensible enough for me to use scripts and command line from.

Unless you're coding alone in a dungeon, your build methods are part of a larger project, that why.  Can your GUI thing be called from a top level make or script?  Doubt it.

But no, instead the other team members are all going to have to learn some GUI specific symbology (icons and mouse clicks galore).  Instead of what has evolved over the last 20+ years of make style depenedencies, we'll replace those terms with something new, yet mean functionally the same thing.

You can expect that time spent learning and investing yourself into perl and make will be worth the effort - its portable and everyone uses these tools.  Learing *yet another* process that adds nothing more than and IDE wrapper...  Yeah, do that.

Oh, and then script the output of that build GUI into your automated test harness.  Just another peice of software that doesn't play well with others.

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, August 15, 2002

"Unless you're coding alone in a dungeon, your build methods are part of a larger project, that why. Can your GUI thing be called from a top level make or script? Doubt it."

Actually, the GUI thing is the top level... It can do a lot more than just run a compiler....

"You can expect that time spent learning and investing yourself into perl and make will be worth the effort - its portable and everyone uses these tools. "

Really... I know an awfull lot of developers who have never used and don't plan on learning perl (myself included). I know enough programming languages already thanks...

"Learing *yet another* process that adds nothing more than and IDE wrapper... Yeah, do that."

Some people prefer to use a GUI rather than grapple with text based scripting... I know I do, which is why I developed FinalBuilder in the first place. I got sick of writing batch files and trying to understand each different make tool's archane syntax... each to his own, I find it quicker to setup a build with a GUI tool than writing scripts.

"Oh, and then script the output of that build GUI into your automated test harness. Just another peice of software that doesn't play well with others."

Hmmm.. rather a sweeping statement, have you actually tried using FinalBuilder (or visual build for that matter)?

FinalBuilder is quite capable of running make, or compilers directly and running your automated test tools as part of the build process... build, test & deploy... I do this all the time with FinalBuilder.

Vincent Parrett
Thursday, August 15, 2002

"I see that it integrates with VS.Net but can it compile .Net apps without visual studio build files? I'm not sure how it works so clue me in. We currently use Nant and previously used nmake, but this looks promising."

We are working on support for the C# and VB.NET compilers that are part of the .NET SDK. I don't have an exact timeframe but I would think a few weeks (they are written but need more testing).

Vincent Parrett
Thursday, August 15, 2002

Thanks for the info Vincent, I appreciate it.

Is FinalBuilder capable of calling Ant/Nant like it is capable of calling make? It doesn't necessarily have to be "built in", but I imagine I could script it using the built in scripting support.

Ian Stallings
Friday, August 16, 2002

Sorry, was in a mood yesterday.  How do you say "passive/aggressive"?

Anyhow, the fact is, obviously, I've never used the product, and honsetly don't intend to.  If I spent my time running after every new thing that came along, nothing would ever get done.

'Make' has passed the test of the software darwinian evolutionary process.  While it may be somewhat of a dinosaur, and facing its twilight (maybe), it would appear to me that Ant is its evolutionary successor.  We use both, make and perl scripts to build clients, Ant for building servers.

Nat Ersoz
Friday, August 16, 2002

The reason to choose FinalBuilder over Make, or Perl, or other scripting languages, is simple:

Your code is butt-goddamn-ugly. No one else can read it, let alone maintain it. Hell, sometimes YOU can't even read it.

So, given that, if you are in an environment where you need anyone to maintain your daily builds, FinalBuilder is an excellent alternative to clumsy, unreadable make files.

It is well worth taking 20 minutes to check it out, rather than watching Yu-Gi-Oh! with your kid one morning. You can always make it up to him with a couple of booster packs. :-)

Tim Sullivan
Saturday, August 17, 2002

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