Using gb as my every day build tool

For the longest time I had this alias in my .bashrc

alias gb='go install -v'

as an homage to John Asmuth’s gb tool which I was very fond of way back before we had the go tool.

Once gb was written, I had to remove that alias and live in a world where I used the go tool and gb concurrently. Now, with the improvements that have landed since GopherCon I’ve decided it’s time to get serious about eating my own dog food and use gb as a full time replacement for the go tool.

I use gb not just to build gb projects, but to work on Juju, my $DAYJOB, as well as using gb to develop gb itself.¬†Because the definition of a gb project is backwards compatible with $GOPATH I don’t even need to rewrite every Go package I want to work on as a gb project, I can work with them with their source happily in my $GOPATH.

gb isn’t perfect yet, there are still some major missing pieces. I hope by aggressively dogfooding I’ll be able to close the gaps before the end of the year. Specifically:

  • gb build works well, but the gb test story is less solid; I hope to reach parity with go test in the next few months by adding support for test flags, -race and coverage options.
  • Support for cross compilation was always high on my list, and is being actively worked on, and will be available to experiment within the next two weeks. At this point I envisage it will be Go 1.5 only, Go 1.4 support may come in time, but is not a high priority.

If others want to join me and make gb their default Go build tool, I’d welcome the company, and of course, your bug reports.