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From Charles Bradley <cbradl...@yahoo.com>
Subject RE: Experiences with Ant.
Date Wed, 18 Oct 2000 19:47:26 GMT
I know that Sun's iPlanet(6.0 SP1) ships with Ant build files, and encourages
its download to use to build the samples that ship with iPlanet.  I would bet
my boots that Sun is using it pretty often.  I would bet my shirt that they're
also using it for builds of iPlanet.  I won't bet any more, cuz you wouldn't
want to see any more...  ;-)

cb

--- Chris Todd <chris@christophertodd.com> wrote:
> I would add that Netbeans, the Open-Source Java IDE from Sun Microsystems,
> uses ant to build itself.  In fact, if I am not mistaken, Ant was originally
> invented by James Duncan Davidson at Sun, and the Jakarta project inherited
> it when Tomcat was open-sourced by Sun (someone please correct me if I have
> that wrong).
> 
> Does anyone know (JDD, are you listening?) whether Sun still uses Ant
> internally, and if so, to what extent?
> 
> I believe ArgoUML also uses Ant as well.
> 
> Sincerest regards,
> Chris Todd
> Software Engineer
> Alabanza Corporation
> ctodd@alabanza.com
> 
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: kiniry@kindsoftware.com [mailto:kiniry@kindsoftware.com]
> >Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 2:32 PM
> >To: ant-user@jakarta.apache.org
> >Cc: kiniry@acm.org
> >Subject: Experiences with Ant.
> >
> >
> >Hello Ant Users,
> >
> >A fellow developer is advocating switching from GNU make to Ant
> >for a large,
> >multiplatform Java development effort.
> >
> >I've read the Ant documentation and am experimenting with the
> >tool, but I've
> >seen too many build tools come and go over the years (whereas make is still
> >around and used by 1,000s of projects) to get too excited about Ant.
> >
> >Attached is my review of Ant vs. Make.  Is there anything I'm
> >saying that is
> >off-base?
> >
> >Can anyone say anything, pro or con about making such a switch?
> >
> >Finally, why aren't any of the Jakarta lists web archived?  This
> >fact makes it
> >very difficult to judge the size, quality, and disposition of the user and
> >developer communities.
> >
> >Best,
> >Joe Kiniry
> >--
> >Joseph R. Kiniry                    http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~kiniry/
> >California Institute of Technology        ID 78860581      ICQ 4344804
> >
> >---
> >
> >I've been reading and evaluating Ant 1.1 for the last hour or so.
> >Here's what
> >I've found.
> >
> >Pros:
> >
> >1. Specification of PATH and CLASSPATH elements are operating system
> >independent; Ant transforms ';'s to ':'s and vice-versa as appropriate.
> >
> >2. File pattern-matching for building lists, including matching arbitrary
> >directory trees with the "**" construct (nice).
> >
> >3. Large set of built-ins tasks including java, javac, javadoc,
> >rmic, cvs, and
> >many of the standard command-line tools like chmod, rename, patch,
> >touch, etc.
> >
> >4. Supports "classic" (JDK 1.1/1.2), "modern" (JDK 1.3), and jikes
> >compilers.
> >
> >5. Supports what are called "build events" which means that you
> >can couple Ant
> >with arbitrary Java code that uses a listener-based mechanism to receive
> >signals from Ant for a set of built in events (e.g. build finishes, task
> >started, etc.).  No examples are included though.
> >
> >6. Learning Ant isn't too bad - perhaps an hour of reading then regular use
> >will be all that is necessary.
> >
> >7. Ant development is pretty active.  It looks like there are two or three
> >main developers working semi-regularly on it.  There hasn't been a second
> >stable release yet (1.1 was first public release), so it is unclear how to
> >take advantage of new work in the build tree (junit, jlink,
> >javacc, sql, ejb,
> >Perforce tasks).  I've grabbed the latest checkout of the build tree to see
> >how stable it is.
> >
> >Cons:
> >
> >0. Very weak reasoning for the first element in their
> >documentation ("Why?").
> >Summarized: The author of make didn't like any of the half dozen
> >build tools
> >out there for unspecified reasons and had misplace concerns about
> >"extending"
> >these tools in OS-specific ways (i.e. claims that the only way to
> >do something
> >"new" with make is to write a new command-line tool in C).  Also,
> >of course,
> >the infamous, "Makefiles are inherently evil as well.".  Why?  Because
> >sometimes you put a tab in the wrong place.  That's all.
> >
> >1. The Jakarta projects at Apache use Ant, they are the ones that actually
> >developed it.  I've found a few other projects that use Ant by
> >searching for
> >"build.xml" in Google.  Searches on several other terms yielded no
> >new hits.
> >The projects using Ant include TView, one of the free EJB servers (ejboss),
> >Infozone (another XML server-side framework), and Ozone (an OS
> >Java ODBMS).  I
> >get no hits on Ant-using projects at SourceForge, though I'm sure
> >there must
> >be a few.
> >
> >2. To run Ant one has to set ANT_HOME and JAVA_HOME environmental variables
> >and run a bourne shell script.  No such script is provided for
> >Windows, so you
> >either write your own batch file or run Ant "natively".
> >
> >3. When you are executing platform specific applications (like the
> >exec task,
> >or the cvs task), the property ant.home must be set to the directory
> >containing a bin directory, which contains the antRun shell script
> >necessary
> >to run execs on Unix.  No such script exists for Windows.  It is
> >unclear how
> >this works on Windows.
> >
> >4. A few of the built-in tasks only work under UNIX, but they are
> >reasonable
> >ones.
> >
> >5. The Ant Users list is fairly quiet.  I subscribed a couple of
> >days ago and
> >no messages have been sent.
> >
> >Pro and Con all in one:
> >
> >1. Has some nice token-filtering stuff (kinda like a global
> >search-and-replace
> >a la #include)
> >
> >2. Ant uses XML as a structured data format, therefore it is
> >parsable by other
> >tools.  On the other hand, Ant's build files is much more sensitive to
> >syntactic errors than makefiles (i.e. closing tags, proper
> >quotation, use of
> >properties and tags, etc. vs. proper tabbing).  In fact, when parsing an
> >incorrect XML file Ant typically doesn't even tell you what is
> >wrong, it just
> >throw the exception from the parser.
> >
> >3. Tasks to fix CR/LF conversions to native/local system, convert tabs to
> >spaces, adjust tab lengths, eofs.  Since these are fairly powerful
> >operations
> >one can easily mess up a whole build tree, but that is pretty typical with
> >handing someone a large gun - they need to know where to point.
> >(I like this
> >feature, but in the wrong hands...)
> >
> >
> >
> 


=====
Charles Bradley
Senior Java Consultant
Denver Java User's Group Leader ( http://www.denverjug.org )

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