I have always had only a fairly loose grasp on the DOS batch language. Whenever, I needed to do something I would spent large amounts of time either with the old DOS manuals or later on, online looking for examples. I only ever used it lightly, primarily because I rarely needed to do anything in DOS itself. However, while working at Obsidian, the Chief Technology Office (Chris Jones) wrote the initial build system in DOS batch and I ended up having to debug, maintain and extend the system. It was interesting and sometimes challenging to get the language to do what I wanted. Thankfully, the command line interpreter in NT has some really useful extensions to the standard DOS batch that making using it a little easier. For my own sanity here is an example set of batch files that I use for processing all of the files in my source tree to generate the resulting html found in this web page.
update_web.bat @echo off
set BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH=%CD%\web set BATCH_ROOT_PATH=%CD% call process_directory “%CD%” “inc” call process_directory “%CD%” “src” set BATCH_ROOT_PATH= set BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH=
process_files.bat @REM Execute the command in the first parameter for all files @REM giving the file as the source - and its parallel web @REM location as the dest FOR %%F in (“.”) DO ( %1 “%%~nxF” “%BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH%\%%~nxF” )
process_directory.bat @REM Check to see if the web path exist parallel to the @REM directory, create it, and store it for the file batch if not exist “%BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH%” mkdir “%BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH%” pushd “%BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH%” if not exist %2 mkdir %2 set BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH=%CD%\%~2 popd
@REM Recursively execute this batch for all directories pushd %2 FOR /D %%F in (.) DO ( call “%BATCH_ROOT_PATH%\process_directory.bat” %1 “%%~xnF” )
@REM Process this directory
@REM Restore the previous web root pushd “%BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH%” cd .. set BATCH_WEB_ROOT_PATH=%CD% popd