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From "Lance Hankins" <>
Subject Need Ammo in Make vs. Ant argument...
Date Fri, 08 Jun 2001 17:22:58 GMT

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 :
  a.. Do any of you have any advice on how to wage this argument (aside from
"Ant is cross platform, make is not")...?
  b.. 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.
  c.. 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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