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From Tim Vernum <Tim.Ver...@macquarie.com>
Subject Parallel Ant (was RE: The Complete Server Platform?)
Date Mon, 25 Mar 2002 00:43:15 GMT

From: dirkx@covalent.net [mailto:dirkx@covalent.net]

> Cannot ant (like normal decent pmake/bsdmake) figure out from the
> dependencies what can be done in parallel. I am not asking for the
> awsomeness of 'make -j 8 world' of *BSD - butsomething close should be
> possible I take it - could be a nice graduade student project :-)

It's probably feasible, but hard, and arguably the wrong place to do it.

I assume that the time consuming part is the "javac".
If there's another task that's taking time, then it might be worth looking
at, but for javac...

Ant gets most of its speed gains (over make) by passing all the java
code to javac at once.
If it were passing the files one at a time, then it would be relatively
easy to run two processes at once.
But doing that would slow you down in almost all cases (maybe not
on the 8-way box, but in 99% of cases it would)

So Ant would have to take the fileset you pass, and do dependency analysis
on it to produce two (or more) disjoint sets of files to pass separately to
javac.
There's a fair amount of complexity there, and I'm not sure that Ant is the
place to put it.

Since the normal cases for JavaC is to pass in multiple files at once, I 
think javac should be able to parallelise itself.

So, a better grad project, might be to hack Jikes to support parallel
compiles.

[ I think follow-ups should go to Ant-Dev ]

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