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From Diane Holt <>
Subject RE: Can someone tell me what is so great about Ant?
Date Wed, 07 Feb 2001 04:01:06 GMT
Might as well chime in on this one...

Which tool is best is completely situation-dependent -- a really fine
wrench is all well and good, unless what you really need is a hammer. If
Make is doing what you need it to do, keep using it -- personally, I
prefer Jam for C/C++ development environments, but hey, whatever works
best for you... As much as I like Jam, though, it just couldn't be the
tool-of-choice for the Java development environment I've most recently
been dealing with -- so I looked around for a tool better suited to Java
and happened upon Ant. So far, pretty good. Not perfect by any means -- I
don't think anyone working on it or using it has ever claimed it was --
but it has proven to be considerably better for this particular situation
than Jam was (or Make would have been). I'm not saying I *couldn't* have
used either of those tools and still improved the build process -- just
that using Ant made it easier to do that, and the degree to which it was
improved was far better than what could have been done with either of
those tools (for some of the reasons already noted by other people).

As to whether a "build engineer" is necessary -- that also depends on the
situation... it's certainly always been necessary wherever I've been hired
to be one :)  (For the record -- cleaning up broken, slow build processes
is my specialty... stats include: 18 hours down to less than 2, 30 minutes
down to 4, 7 hours down to 2 [clearly, not as good a ratio of reduction,
but only because I haven't yet gotten around to getting rid of the 90
minutes it takes some old crusty shell-scripts to build a handful of jars,
which Ant should lend itself to quite nicely], etc. -- so I think I can
speak with some modicum of experience in this :)



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