The last word on SCons performance

My previous look at SCons performance compared SCons and gmake on a variety of build scenarios — full, incremental, and clean. A few people suggested that I try the tips given on the SCons ‘GoFastButton’ wiki page, which are said to significantly improve SCons performance (at the cost of some accuracy, of course). Naturally, I felt that I had to do one last follow-up exploring this avenue. And since that meant I would already be running a bunch of builds, I figured I’d try out SCons’ parallel build features too. My findings follow.
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What’s new in GNU make 3.82

GNU make 3.82 hit the streets last week, the first new release of the workhouse build tool in over four years. Why so long between releases? To me the answer is obvious: the tool Just Works ™, so there’s no need to churn out new releases chasing the latest development fad. But as this release shows, there is still room to innovate, without compromising on the points that make the tool so great. The two improvements I find most interesting are .ONESHELL, and changes to pattern-search behavior:
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Making Automated Tests Truly Automatic

[A version of this article appeared on eWeek

A recent poll of software development professionals showed that the majority would rather be doing their taxes than dealing with their company’s test infrastructure. The reason: automated software tests require tremendous amounts of manual time and energy to configure, run, and monitor. This can be a startling revelation to companies that have invested substantial engineering efforts into automated test frameworks specifically to reduce the human cost of continually running large regression suites.

What’s at the root of this disconnect?
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