The disk on your machine is fundamentally a stateful thing, and sbt can execute the tasks in parallel only because it has the full control of the effects. Any time you are running both sbt and an IDE, or you're running multiple instances of sbt against the same build, sbt cannot guarantee the state of the build.
With sbt 1.0 in mind, I have rebooted the sbt server effort. Instead of building something outside of sbt, I want to underengineer the whole thing. This means throwing out previously made assumptions that I think are non-essential such as automatic discovery and automatic serialization. Instead I want to make something small that we can comfortably merge into sbt/sbt codebase. Lightbend holds Engineering Meeting a few times a year where we all fly to a location and have discussions face to face, and also do an internal "hackathon." During the Februay code retreat in beautiful Budapest, Johan Andrén (@apnylle), Toni Cunei, and Martin Duhem joined my proposal to work on the sbt server reboot. The goal was to make a button on IntelliJ IDEA that can trigger a build in sbt.
There’s been some discussions around sbt 1.0 lately, so here is a writeup to discuss it. This document is intended to be a mid-term mission statement. A refocus to get something out. Please post on sbt-dev mailing list for feedback.
In this post, I will discuss the execution semantics and task sequencing in sbt 0.13. First we will cover the background, and then I will introduce a new experimental plugin sbt-sequential that adds sequential tasks.
The sbt model is to have your side effects be local to your task so that as long as dependencies are satisfied, the task can be executed whenever. The win is parallel by default and enabling faster builds in practice.
In other words, with sbt, the build definitions only define the dependencies between the tasks. The timing at which these tasks are triggered is automatically calculated by sbt. To understand this, we should first look at the execution semantics of a Scala code with side effects.
Unlike XML-based build tools sbt's build definitions are written in Scala (for both .sbt and .scala). This means that once one gets over the hurdle of learning sbt's concepts and operators, it doesn't take much for build users to start writing sbt plugins.
I've ported a few from sbt 0.7 before, but I've also been writing some original ones recently that I'd like to share.