[Will be OBSOLETED by the next FAKE version]. A helper library to simplify and share a FAKE build across multiple projects.
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The Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding library can be installed from NuGet:
PM> Install-Package Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding

Why AdvancedBuilding?

After setting up some projects with FAKE and Paket I often find the need to edit the build.fsx and add new features. And most of the time after adding a feature I wanted that feature on other projects as well.

Because of this I introduced Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding, a nuget package containing a general FAKE build script, which can be configured. Whenever I introduce a new feature into the build script I only need to update Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding to be able to use it.

Another pain point is building for multiple targets... The default FAKE targets defined in Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding can handle multiple targets. Basically we use the solution platform configuration to define multiple platforms/targets. This makes the build completely executable with xbuild/msbuild and lets you configure everything in the project files (Visual Studio) itself. This way you can change the platform from within Visual Studio without the need to load another solution or to restart Visual Studio. You can find an example here: https://github.com/matthid/Yaaf.FSharp.Helper/blob/develop/src/source/Yaaf.FSharp.Helper/Yaaf.FSharp.Helper.fsproj

Features / Design goals:

  • Your build can be updated (with paket update).
  • Extendible with your own FAKE targets / dependencies (as without Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding).
  • Additional support for building projects for multiple targets (net40, net45 and portable profiles)
  • Simplifies your paket.dependencies file by simplifying all build dependencies to just Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding.

Quick intro

This project can be used to simplify the build process by replacing your build scripts with this nuget package. It should especially help/simplify the process of building projects for multiple targets (net40, net45 and portable profiles).

The setup for this is not trivial and having an idea of FAKE (http://fsharp.github.com/FAKE) and paket (http://fsprojects.github.io/Paket/) helps. We assume in this quick intro guide that you are able to setup a simple project with FAKE (without ProjectScaffold).

We also assume that you have a project named Yaaf.Project already setup with FAKE and Paket with the following folder structure:

- .paket (paket folder)
- src
  - test (Directory for test projects)
    - Test.Yaaf.Project (test projects start with "Test." and produce equally named ".dll" files)
  - source (Directory for source projects)
  - Yaaf.Project.sln
- build.cmd
- build.sh
- build.fsx
- paket.dependencies

Note other layouts are possible but this is the recommended layout which requires a minimal configuration later on. Paket is also not strictly required! You can get away with a packages.config nuget file and have your dependencies there.

Getting Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding

Now we first add Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding to our dependencies

source https://nuget.org/api/v2

nuget Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding

You can basically remove all other build dependencies now and only keep Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding, because Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding will itself depend on all things it needs, and paket will install all of them. Paket's internalize feature isn't supported! If you have your own additional build dependencies you need to add them.

Now we update our dependencies:

.paket/paket.exe update

Note when using NuGet you now need to manually download and extract Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding to ./packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding. You also need to specify all dependencies in packages.config instead of only Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding.

Setting up Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding

Note we assume you are using any kind of VCS system, because we will REPLACE some files and then tell you to look into their old versions later on! please commit/backup any unsaved changes now (excluding the changes from above)!

Now you can start setting up the project with:

# delegating build scripts
cp -r packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/scaffold/build/* ./
# Some initial files for your repro 
#(not required if you already have CONTRIBUTING.md, README.md and so forth in place)
# includes a .travis.yml and appveyor.yml for Travis and AppVeyor support
cp -r packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/scaffold/initial/* ./
# required if you want support for nuget in your project files 
# (not required if you use paket only)
cp -r packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/scaffold/nuget/* ./
# Some content files for the documentation
cp -r packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/scaffold/content/* ./
# copies some templates for the documentation
cp -r packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/scaffold/templates/* ./

# copies an build configuration to your project root
cp packages/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/examples/buildConfig/buildConfig.Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding.fsx ./buildConfig.fsx

Setting up the buildConfig.fsx file

Now you need to setup the buildConfig.fsx file! Most settings can be taken from your old build.fsx file (which was overwritten above). This step is documented in an extra documentation page: https://matthid.github.io/Yaaf.AdvancedBuilding/buildConfig.html

More Features

When PAKET_UPDATE=y "paket update" will be run before starting your build, this way you can specify a CI build which is running daily with the latest updates. You can lock the paket version with PAKET_VERSION. You can set PAKET_VERSION to "prerelease" to test with the latest paket.


I use this project for various projects to build (Basically for all of my projects including https://github.com/Antaris/RazorEngine). This means the core features are quite stable while updating. However I often use this project to add new (build-)features as kind of a playground project and when they are not as useful as initially thought they will be removed. Just join the chat or open an issue if your scripts broke (without any hint in the release notes).