Raven: First Blush

27 09 2006

I gave Raven a quick once over tonight. This is in no way a thorough examination. but here are some concerns I have so far:

  • Eclipse support is a little sketchy compared to Maven. You can run a lib_dir task and then configure Eclipse to use the distribution jars, but then you’re not really pointing at a single repository. Of course, the Raven repository stores gems, not jars, so this may be the best we can hope for right now.
  • Absent is a clearly documented way to install a jar that isn’t in the Maven repository already, or being built by Raven. To be fair, this is a pain in the ass in Maven, also.
  • `raven repository jruby` didn’t do anything and didn’t bother to tell me what it wasn’t doing or why it wasn’t doing it. So I had no idea if there was something I needed to be doing to make it work.

Raven is a cool idea. I like gems and the Java attempts at building a unified build tool have been, at best, clumsy. On merit of the idea alone, I think I’ll try Raven on one or two personal projects, just to see how it holds up.




One response

7 11 2006

Thanks for the quick review, I appreciate it. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you find other painful stuff, my goal is to really put the accent on usability.

So here are my answers:

– Eclipse support. I think I could do something for that. Generate the Eclipse classpath directly from the jars contained in your Gems. I’ll add it to the roadmap.

– If you check the user guide (http://raven.rubyforge.org/use.html) the example demonstrates the gem_wrap_inst task that does just what you’re looking for.

– JRuby is nowhere to be found on the default Maven repository. But I have to improve message reporting, point well taken!

Stick around (I’m on WordPress as well in http://mriou.wordpress.com) and thanks for your feedback!

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