Long time Rubyists already know about Rake (Ruby’s equivalent to Make and Ant), but this may be news to our many new friends in the Ruby world.
Martin Fowler just wrote a very readable exploration showing how Rake has replaced his use of Ant. He also spends a considerable amount of time explaining the problem that build systems address, and the differences in how Make, Ant, and Rake solve these problems.
If you use Ant or Make you should read this. If you don’t use Ant or Make you can still read it… I won’t tell. 😉