May 26, 2018

Command-line make-like build tool using Go as input files

Mage is a make/rake-like build tool using Go. You write plain-old go functions, and Mage automatically uses them as Makefile-like runnable targets.

Makefiles are hard to read and hard to write. Mostly because makefiles are essentially fancy bash scripts with significant white space and additional make-related syntax.

Mage lets you have multiple magefiles, name your magefiles whatever you want, and they’re easy to customize for multiple operating systems. Mage has no dependencies aside from go and runs just fine on all major operating systems, whereas make generally uses bash which is not well supported on Windows. Go is superior to bash for any non-trivial task involving branching, looping, anything that’s not just straight line execution of commands. And if your project is written in Go, why introduce another language as idiosyncratic as bash? Why not use the language your contributors are already comfortable with?

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