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From "Chris Bailey" <>
Subject RE: Ant: The Definitive Guide (Orielly)
Date Tue, 28 May 2002 18:08:24 GMT
Ok, I'll be looking forward to this book :)  I agree on printing the Ant
reference in the Hightower/Lesiecki book.  That's just a waste of paper, and
is instantly out of date.  Too many books do this, and should realize in
this day and age, unless the book itself is a desktop reference (and only
that), that it's pointless (and even then it's pretty debateable, unless
it's like say the Java reference books that are more than just JavaDoc, but
give nice examples).

-----Original Message-----
From: Erik Hatcher []
Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 10:56 AM
To: Ant Users List
Subject: Re: Ant: The Definitive Guide (Orielly)

To further what Steve has said about our forthcoming book [1,2], we are
covering much more than would even be reasonable for the Ant docs.  We cover
lots of real-world situations from web development, XML issues, EJB
projects, and Web Services. These involve several 3rd party tools such as
XDoclet, Cactus, Middlegen, and others, which really do not make sense to be
documented in Ant's own manual. If real-world build/test/deploy issues are
what you want to see written about, our book is it.  Its going to be ~550+

We do not repeat Ant's docs at all besides, as Steve mentioned, to include
an Appendix task reference which is code generated using XDoclet, <concat>,
<xslt>, and a few fiddly Microsoft Word style changes. As a matter of fact,
I'll probably include a brief summary of the steps used to auto-generate the
task reference. Look for the Javadocs in Ant's codebase to dramatically
improve in the next week or so as we clean them up to make generating
documentation much cleaner (not just for our book, for Ant's future
documentation as well!).

I worked with Hightower and Lesiecki on the Java Tools book (wrote bits of
the HttpUnit stuff, but that is all other than perusing it as it was in
progress) - and definitely expressed concerns on their Ant work to them.  In
all fairness, they wrote that book in 1/4 of the time Steve and I have been
spending on our book and they did a bang-up job considering their
constraints. I personally did not understand why the Ant API was printed
there, as its irrelevant to almost all Ant users, and the few it is relevant
to would probably use the current Javadocs instead.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Bailey" <>
To: "Ant Users List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 12:42 PM
Subject: RE: Ant: The Definitive Guide (Orielly)

> And, what does the book provide that the online docs do not?  For example,
> have a copy of "Java Tools for Extreme Programming: Mastering Open Source
> Tools Including Ant, JUnit, and Cactus".  THe sections on Ant are really
> weak.  If you'd never seen Ant before, they'd help, but it doesn't even
> cover as much as the online docs (and in fact, even says to go read the
> in Anger" article first :)
> If the Definitive Guide book gets really in-depth and provides a lot of
> examples of really complicated build needs, that might be useful (e.g. I'm
> thinking that a "Cookbook" version would be more useful).

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