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From Ray Tayek <>
Subject some design questions about "ant in anger"
Date Fri, 19 Apr 2002 00:59:54 GMT
hi, i am digging thought the "ant in anger" article and noticed that the 
author recommends having standard top-level targets like: build, test, 
clean, deploy, publish, fetch, docs/javadocs, all, and main and using ant 
calls to pass the control down the tree. so it seems like while some of the 
stuff (in the build.xml file) is generic (implementation), some of it is 
non generic (policy) and "knows" what's below in the build tree. it would 
seem that ant is smart enough to look at the build.xml file in each 
directory and do the right thing. is this more or less how it works?

there was a recent post from yingwang@uhunix2 about a directory called say 
buildtool that contained all of the JAVA_HOME, ANT_HOME properties (or 
perhaps the build tools themselves?). perhaps that should be one of the 
top-level targets?

the author suggests having "internal" targets at each level like: init, 
compile, link/jar, staging. not sure what this is all about, buy it sounds 
sorta like the separation between interface (the standard top level 
targets) and implementation (the internal "targets").

also, i am a bit confused about properties. afaict, these are immutable 
(i.e. once defined, they will not be changed). i gather that this means 
that if you wanted to override some property, you would need to somehow 
process your in a "bottom up" manner (from the leaves to 
the root of the build process). so if i have a property in a file in a subdirectory and i do not use the ant call, then 
(assuming that ant finds the file in the subdirectory), it would seem like 
the properties would *not* be overridden.

otoh, if i am using ant calls, what happens to all of the properties that 
have already been defined by descending the tree up to the point of this 
particular ant call? do these properties get lost when the new ant call 
gets made? when ant sees new build.xml and files do these 
"go away" when that ant call terminates?

another issue that seems problematic is that of testing. we will be doing 
servlets, so there are at least four (4) levels of testing: junit, cactus, 
httpunit, and someOtherTesting. the cactus seems a bit complicated (he 
deploys in place somehow - i don't quite grok that yet). has anyone had any 
luck with putting different kinds of testing like these ant?


ray tayek
actively seeking telecommuting work
vice chair orange county java users group
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