Automation promotes action

February 18, 2006

I've written before about the advantages of scripts, but my own recent experiences have reminded me of another one, which I can snappily phrase as automation promotes action. Or in other words: when you've scripted something so that it's easy to do, you do it more often.

I build Firefox from CVS myself, for various reasons, but I run it on a different machine than I build on. Bringing up a new build up on the right machine involves about three or four steps; nothing particularly intricate, but just long enough to be vaguely annoying. (Among other things, I save the old build in case I want or need to revert to it; since I'm on the bleeding edge, this happens every so often.)

For a long time I didn't script this, because it was just small enough to seem silly and just dangerous enough to make me nervous. Recently I bit the bullet and spent the time to write a newfox script that I was happy with. Predictably, I now feel much happier about doing build updates and they happen somewhat more often; the difference between typing newfox and typing N somewhat long commands turns out to actually matter after all.

Call it a lesson learned. Apparently every so often I need to experience these things, not just know them intellectually.

Written on 18 February 2006.
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Last modified: Sat Feb 18 18:02:28 2006
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