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Logging and reporting

I wrote my first reporting script yesterday. It crawls a source tree and reports each occurrence of a specific regular expression.

Today I will be trying out SSMTP under Cygwin. I'm not sure where I can send mail from. I guess I can use one the SMTP that's already running on one of the servers.

Automated reporting has been a dream of mine for a long time. The trouble has been building a work environment where it was possible to develop a best practices document. Forming a list, of consensus best practices, took a long time. However, the reporting script was written within 24 hours of completion of the first draft of the best practices document.

It was important to write my own reporting tool, so that I could exactly tailor the output to the needs of the group. Other validators produce useful and informative warnings, which is not what I wanted. Instead, I only want to know about the things that are annoying me right now. What I want is the freedom to only have my own rules enforced. Currently there are four "deprecations" on our best practices list, and the robot scans for exactly those four patterns; in the source tree.

This is only the first step toward complete automated unit testing with every build. Again, the difficulty is not in implementing the technology. Rather the process is slow because teaching people to appreciate and embrace the technology, is not easy at all.