ant-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Diane Holt <>
Subject Ant vs. other "ant"s (was: Re: Whoa Bessie...)
Date Thu, 21 Dec 2000 22:43:26 GMT
--- James Duncan Davidson <> wrote:
> Other visions are fine, but they aren't Ant imo. I'll work *hard* to
> make sure that people have the chance they need to explore other ideas.
> Other thoughts on what a Java Based Build System is. Call 'em what you
> will -- different ideas, forks, whatnot. Competition is good. But they
> *are* different. They *aren't* Ant.

Hi James,

I think I understand how you feel, and how things managed to get confused
and very nearly completely out-of-control -- but I also think the two most
divisive things that happened were 1) people had gotten used to Ant being
an OpenSource project, with all that implies, and 2) you *seemed* to be
trying to un-OpenSource it by saying you had returned to take it back over
and (I'm paraphrasing) "make it be what it should've been from the start
and would have been but for your having to leave it behind for awhile".

Proposals were coming in because people thought "Ant2" was *open* to
having proposals put forth for it. But the people who did put proposals
out there felt their's were being ignored because you'd apparently already
set your sights only on your own, and you weren't (or didn't appear to be)
even willing to look at anyone else's.

I agree that anyone is welcome to come up with whatever Java-based build
tool they want -- but you should try to take into consideration the fact
that Ant is already *widely* in use, and once you've got a large "customer
base", it's exceedingly difficult for someone else to make even a dent in
that -- even if they do come up with a "better mouse-trap". (Think back to
IBM's dominance from the early '50s -- they got their stuff out there
early, got everyone hooked into it, and it was damn near impossible for
anyone else to make any headway against them for decades!)

I'm an old Unix/C person, and when I (only recently) got into the Java
world, I started looking around for a Java-oriented build tool. As it
turned out, there wasn't really much out there, and certainly nothing that
seemed as "alive" and well-supported as Ant did. That's one of the reasons
I went with Ant -- it was connected to Apache, a large, well-respected
organization, and it was connected with Sun (Java's papa :), and it seemed
like it'd probably do most of the things I needed it to do.

But it's not (yet) a perfect tool for my needs -- as my explanation of my
build issues tried to illustrate. I don't really expect to ever find a
"perfect tool" that'll do everything that I need it to, in exactly the way
*I'd* like it to -- but I'm hoping that "Ant2" will at least address some
of the issues I am still faced with, and in a way that allows me to
*simplify* the way I need to go about dealing with those issues. If your
approach to "Ant2" will do that -- great! bring it on! :) -- but, if there
are aspects of the other proposals that have been offered up that would
make sense to incorporate into yours, because they'd allow for things that
yours wouldn't (or would, but with more difficulty), then I would hope
you'd be open to at least looking at ways to blend those aspects into what
eventually becomes "Ant2". And not because you've been made to feel like
you "have to", but simply because a good idea is a good idea, regardless
of who came up with it.



Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Shopping - Thousands of Stores. Millions of Products.

View raw message