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From Tim McCune <>
Subject RE: Need Ammo in Make vs. Ant argument...
Date Fri, 08 Jun 2001 19:10:32 GMT
Hash: SHA1

I had to go through this same process, and my main 3 arguments were:
1) The build process is faster with Ant (170% faster in the best of
my tests on our builds)
2) Build files require less maintenance than Makefiles.  (In our
case, Makefiles were 500 KB for one project, Ant file was 30 KB).
3) Ant provides a cross-platform solution.
We are 100% Java here, and this was still an _extremely_ hard sell. 
I don't quite understand why Make's advocates seem to have such a
religious zeal, but they certainly do.  I've been advocating Ant here
for over a year now, and after having made several (initially very
reluctant) converts by now I'm convinced now that it's just a matter
of time until we get switched over from Make to Ant, but I still
don't know how much time it's going to take.  If your shop isn't 100%
Java, good luck.  I haven't done much non-Java stuff with Ant, but
for the little bit that I did do, it wasn't pretty.

- -----Original Message-----
From: Lance Hankins []
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 11:23 AM
Subject: Need Ammo in Make vs. Ant argument...

I'm working for a large telecomm client as one of the lead developers
on a relatively new J2EE project.   We've just finished putting
together Ant scripts for our build process and I think Ant is great -
its so much better than Make IMO.   We're in the early stages of the
project, and the core team is just releasing our initial "baseline"
to the rest of the developers so that they can begin working on the
vertical functionality.

Now I'm getting pushback from the management and CM organizations
because they don't want to use Ant (my perception on this is that
they don't really know what Ant is, aside from a "replacement for
Make").    They've made statements like they don't want to use Ant
because its "free and not supported".    They are decreeing that
everyone shall use Make.
Don't get me wrong - I think standards are needed in large
organizations, but there comes a time when you must re-evaluate all
such policies and decide if its time to adapt them to use more
contemporary tools.
- From my perspective, our build process is like driving a nail into a
board.  Ant is a hammer, and Make is a big rock.  Sure I can use the
Rock to drive the nail, but it would be a lot easier if you'll let me
use the more appropriate tool.   

My questions :

*	Do any of you have any advice on how to wage this argument (aside
from "Ant is cross platform, make is not")...? 
*	Is there any literature out there which endorses Ant as the
recommended build tool for Java projects?  This would be helpful in
legitimizing Ant as an option. 
*	Ant has a lot of built in support for Java and J2EE based builds,
how effective is it at building C++ based stuff (particularly with
large CORBA based systems).   We have a very heterogeneous
environment here (C++ systems, CORBA/C++ systems, CORBA/Java systems,
J2EE based systems, etc). 

Any ammunition will be greatly appreciated :)
Lance Hankins
Focus Technologies LLC

Phone : 972-396-2064
Fax : 972-396-9283
Cell : 214-616-7064
"To only a fraction of the human race does God give the privilege of
earning one's bread doing what one would have gladly pursued for
free, for passion." - Fred Brooks 


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