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PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

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Introducing Minuteman

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Experienced / Poster
**Stop writing build scripts! Use Minuteman!** I'm introducing my new software package for UNIX-like systems, Minuteman, at PyCon 2011. Minuteman is a meta-build system for UNIX-like systems. Large software systems are built from many small subpackages; these often have their own funny builds. Minuteman abstracts these builds away to create a regular, standardized build. Come learn how!


Minuteman is primarily a meta-build system, with some supporting workspace and package management facilities. It's intended to obviate the home-grown "build script" one inevitably creates for a complicated software system. Minuteman is something like "zc.buildout"--though it's really closer to the Java tool "maven"--and in a sense it's very similar the Gentoo package manager "portage". In other words, it's hard to describe. Usually it takes a lot of talking and waving my arms around. Therefore it's perfect fodder for a poster session.

Minuteman is written in Python 3, though it isn't strictly necessary to write any Python 3--or even know any Python--in order to use it. (Though user extensions must also be written in Python 3.)

Minuteman supports:

  • build settings,
  • self-documenting projects,
  • flexible versioning,
  • automated checkout from revision control systems,
  • build concurrency,
  • iterative development,
  • a frankly shocking depth of extensibility,
  • and the fully-automatic creation of repeatable builds.