What is Toolforge ?

Toolforge is the Sourceforge project name for a suite of tools related to build, release and configuration management. The product is known as Karma which is derived from Code And Release Management Application, but 'CARMA' wasn't good enough a name for us.

What is Karma ?

Karma is a tool, developed under the Toolforge project, covering the following areas of software development:

  • Component Management
  • Version Management
  • Build Management
  • Release Management

The tool (and more than that, the methodology) supports software developers and release managers in their quest to manage software systems, components and modules. A true enabler of a smooth software logistics process (yep ...).

When we develop software, we generally preach reusability, componentization and the like for the purpose of reducing software development in the future. The idea is to compose software systems of existing software modules and components. Mosts methodologies available in the market think of modules and components as binary bundles of compiled code, ready to use.

But component based development requires more than a version control system to manage source code and build tools to build that source code, integrating third party libraries on the fly. It requires that software components can be easily managed, exchanged and reused.

Our early releases of Karma showed that developers, familiar with tools like Ant and Maven needed to be convinced of the power of the Karma concept: "We have Maven to do that.", "Why don't we build an extension to Ant for this ?". So far, we've been able to convince everyone that Karma offers more.

Anyway, so far for the sales talk. All of it is true, but let's continue and make it happen.

What is there to use ?

The Toolforge project on Sourceforge contains what is there to get. Read the Basics section before anything else to get an idea of how Karma manages software.

Released versions of Karma can be found at Sourceforge. Installation and configuration is described in the getting started.