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From David Walend <>
Subject Re: very basic question
Date Wed, 19 Sep 2001 19:43:28 GMT

The biggest advantage we saw when we switched from make to ant was that 
suddenly everyone on our team understood what the build did. And 
everyone could edit it. Our team of ten depended on two high priests of 
make before. If both of them were out when we needed some change in the 
build, we were out of luck.

After I observed that, I've fought hard to keep the build.xml files 
simple and independent. Each subproject has a simple build.xml that any 
developer worth his salt can figure out. makefiles tend to grow hairy 
and complex during a project, but ant's build.xml files tend to stay 
simple, but increase in number.


Dan Tanner wrote:

> One big advantage of Ant over MAKE that our project found was the 
> amount of time it took to compile our system (Java/EJB).
> With MAKE, it was about 15 minutes.  When we switched to Ant, it 
> dropped down to about 4 minutes (including EJBC compile).  We also 
> didn't need to maintain a .depends file in every single package 
> anymore.  It is true that Ant's dependency-checking isn't as mature as 
> others; but it doesn't really matter for anything but the largest of 
> projects, because it's usually still much faster to do a fresh 
> recompile with Ant than a incremental recompile with MAKE.  (In my 
> experience).
> I don't know the actual numbers, but it's a safe assumption that most 
> people who now use Ant were once MAKE users, so we've got a solid 
> comparison base.  Ant has grown immensely since its inception, with 
> most of its users currently using it in production.  Given this, it'll 
> be tough to find anyone on this list that thinks MAKE is better than 
> Ant for a typical project.
> Josiah Slack wrote:
>> Hi everyone. I'm new to the list, and am in the process of evaluating 
>> ant to
>> see if it's appropriate for a project my group is undertaking. I've been
>> looking at FAQs, and reading the traffic on this list for the past 
>> few days,
>> but haven't found an answer to the following question: what, in 
>> detail, are
>> the strengths and weaknesses of ant vs. make?
>> Any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks!
>> -josiah

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