I’ve been hacking around with Make, Rake, and Ant build files, learning just enough to remain dangerous. So far, I feel the most comfortable with Rake, the Ruby version of Make. I like how it provides access to Bash commands but also has its own API. Recently another tool caught my interest:

JSMake is a simple Javascript build program with capabilities similar to make

The allure of a tool that would let me write my build scripts in JavaScript is strong. But it does make me wonder: What advantage, other than my familiarity with JavaScript, does JSMake have over other such tools? And is it worth my time to learn another DSL when others work just fine?

On a broader level, these questions touch on the issue that I, and I’m sure many other web developers, have regarding the balance between chasing after the newest, shiniest things and deepening my understanding of more established technologies.