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From Albertus Vermeulen <>
Subject RE: Including a common build file with common targets.
Date Tue, 16 Oct 2001 15:30:14 GMT

Please excuse my ignorance if I don't quite understand all the power that
Ant provides me. I'm not sure that I follow your comments exactly but I can
explain to your why I thought that <ant> wouldn't quite work for me.

The end effect I'm trying to achieve is as follows. In any project that a
developer is coding one build.xml file should exist. I haven't mapped it yet
to exactly what it should look like in ant but probably something like:

<project name="QuoteSystem">
  <property environment="ENV"/>
  <property name="MODULE_VERSION" value="1.1.14"/

  <property name="MODULE_DEPENDENCIES" value="list of jars that this project
depends on. Used to setup classpath. This is though not a full path,
manipulation needs to happen in common.xml"/>

  .... include common file which defines all targets and rules for compiling

    idl,java,pcml (something specific in our environment), etc something to
the effect of ....
  <include ${ENV.DEVELOP_HOME}/common.xml>

As I understand, by using <ant> as was suggested to me by Jerry Li, I would
need to for each target (17 in total) have to do a replecation of the
<target>s defined in common.xml in the above build.xml. I would thus save on
not having to expose the body of the target in the above file or the
properties I need to achieve the completion of the target, but I would still
add a lot of extra targets in the build.xml file. I also seemed to
experience some difficulty in accessing properties declared in the build.xml
file within the common.xml file. This could though just be a clear case of
me not having RTFM'd enough yet. :)

Am I wrong in my understanding of how <ant> can/should be used ? Is there
some way in which I could achieve what I described above ?

Thanks in advance

-----Original Message-----
From: Diane Holt []
Sent: 16 October 2001 04:19
Subject: RE: Including a common build file with common targets.

--- Albertus Vermeulen <> wrote:
> Thanks for your input, your solution would mean less lines in the
> build.xml files, but doesn't really provide me with the solution I'm
> looking for. I'm really looking for an equavalent of include in
> makefiles. In our development environment we have seperate components
> that developers are working on. They all need to make the same targets,
> but for their own projects. We currently maintain these "make" targets
> in one file and this ensures that there is very little clutter in the
> Makefiles of each developer. This can't be changed when we move to Ant.

Can you explain a bit more why using the <ant> task won't work for you? I
have a "common" target (eg.) for building parsers in my "main" build.xml
file that lives at the top of the user's workspace (which can be
anywhere). Building a parser in a sub-buildfile <ant>'s the common parser
target, passing the properties it needs to use.  That sounds like what
you're looking to do, but maybe I'm missing something.



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