These days, my favorite build tool is Rake. I like to create multiple batch files or shell scripts for running Rake:
dev, for building and testing on the local machine;
repo, for manipulating the version control repository; and
deploy, for shipping iteration and production releases. Each script gets its own Rake file, and then I take advantage of Rake's Ruby underpinnings to put code common to the various rakefiles in shared Ruby classes.
Next week's excerpt: something from the Planning chapter. Voting is back to normal this week, so please speak up for your choice in the comments. Here are your choices: