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From "Steve Loughran" <>
Subject Re: My experiences with doing a large project with ANT
Date Wed, 13 Mar 2002 23:46:41 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Jackl-Mochel" <>
To: "Ant-User" <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 12:26
Subject: My experiences with doing a large project with ANT

> Introduction
> ------------
> Some people on this list have asked me to post details of how I got a
> hierarchical ant based build system working for a project I am involved
> This
> is a simple attempt to get most of my experiences down in a way that might
> be
> useful to the ANT community at large. For brevity, I am intentionally
> leaving
> out most of the numerous false starts and blind paths I went down.  I am
> detailing out the general rationales and notable blind alleys whenever I
> a chance to save someone else a great deal of time.

hey, this is good...stick it on a web page and we will point to  it from the
ant web pages

> Developers can no longer do a build at any level they want.
> Most have no problem with this because the speed is overall
> much better.

this is a hard one...20 minutes is still slow for immediate feedback.

> It does the job but there are small things within ANT that
> required me to hack things in various ways.
> Logging of what happens is stil somewhat ungainly and ugly.
> We are somewhat at a loss when we want to choose whether or not
> a failed test or a failed deployment constitutes a faiilure of the build.
> Since we label a source tree based on a successful build I would love to
> have (for any target) the ability to specify whether or not a failure of
> this
> target causes the build to stop.

Sometimes I use conditions to probe for things working; you can use this to
write rigorous tests
that things worked (like a JAR file contains named classes and properties)

> The fact that JAR files cannot be updated easily causes a world of
> workarounds.

you mean updated while loaded, or jar -u isnt working?

> The ability to pass in a bundle of configuartion info (a properties file?)
> into the build command line would help

we have some good news there from the nightly builds:
  -propertyfile <name>   load all properties from file with -D
                         properties taking precedence


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