I’ve been trying for months to get my partner in crime, Stephen Balkum, to switch to Rake as our default build system. We’ve been using Nant FOREVER and while it works, I really hate writing Nant scripts.
The problem Stephen had with going to Rake where twofold. One, we’re still doing (mostly) .Net apps, so the only thing we’d use Ruby for right now is Rake (hopefully that will change soon too). And Ruby is a pretty big installation if you’re only building .Net projects with Rake.
The other, more important, more problem is that we like to have completely self-contained projects. So when a new dev comes online all they have to do is checkout from source control, click build.bat and you are ready to go. You simply can’t do that with Ruby and Rake. You must install Ruby and then get all of the gems necessary to run Rake.
Well, Stephen found a way around all of this. He has encapsulated Ruby, Rake, and all dependencies into a single 3mb executable. Now it can be checked in and passed around like any other required tool.
You can read more about it here