The Helix Ribosome build system is a set of programs written in the Python programming language which provide a common interface to retrieving and building programs from source code stored in a CVS repository. The build system is made up of two basic subsystems. The first ("build") calculates the dependencies of a target, retrieves the source code, and runs commands to build that source code in the correct order. The second component ("Umake") is a cross-platform Makefile generator, which generates makefiles that work with MSVC, CodeWarrior, and typical Unix toolchains. Umake can be used independently from the build program.