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From Peter Donald <>
Subject RE: Can someone tell me what is so great about Ant?
Date Wed, 07 Feb 2001 02:12:06 GMT
At 12:59  7/2/01 +1100, Tim Vernum wrote:
>Mine are.
>It depends on what you consider to be a "makefile"
>I have a make-engine that is a makfile included within
> each project's makefile. It basically gives you a lot of
> what ant gives. (Not all, but a lot)
>In Ant the logic is in the tasks, written in java.
>In make the logic is in my "engine" makefile.
>It's rare for me to touch that file, and it only happens 
> when I need to define, what to ant would be a custom
> "task".

Thats the same as how I used to build makefiles. My "makefile" did an
include at top, defined some properties and did an include at the bottom
and was much simpler in most cases than ant. However for anyone but me to
understand the meta file was near impossible ;)

>> The main advantages with ant is that it only
>> executes most tools once and if the tool is java based it 
>> usually executes
>> it in VM rather than creating a new VM (which is costly).
>That is true.
>What I was thinking of is the trivial case of recompiling
> only a small number of files.
>The overhead of make is in my experience smaller for
> that than ant, and you would have to be compiling quite
> a number of files to regain that time for ant.
>For a full rebuild of a medium to large project, I would
> expect Ant to win quite convincingly.
>Hmm, I wonder if I could hack make to run everything
> in one command...

you can - I had a GNUMake specific set of rules to do it ... I will post it
to you if I can still find it...

>I was thinking of writing shell scripts to handle the tasks.
>Anything that you can write a java task to do, you could
> write a shell script to do (even if that script ran java).
>While ant is extended with java classes, make is extended
> with shell commands.

true - but as the command line tools don't offer the interface that the
Java API does they will still require "mudging" (ie copy/create hierarchy).
The shell scripts have to be written very carefully in a X-platform
language (I used to use python) to work for all your developers though.



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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