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From Erik Hatcher <jakarta-...@ehatchersolutions.com>
Subject Re: "Elements of Ant Style": the ./lib directory
Date Sat, 02 Nov 2002 18:25:04 GMT
Ken Gentle wrote:
> I've finally received my copy of "Java Development with Ant", and want 
> to thank Steve and Erik for a great reference!

Thank you, Ken.

> I'm generally in agreement with these suggestions, but one stands out as 
> diametrically opposed to my common practice.  in section D.4.5, 
> Directory Structure, the recommendation is to keep library files "with 
> the project".  As most projects are managed from some type of SCM tool, 
> that kind of implies keeping those lib/jars in the SCM system.

Let me just clarify a little first.  I do not advocate keeping the same 
JAR file in SCM multiple times.  A global/master 'lib' directory that 
spans across all projects is plenty sufficient and in fact this is how I 
organize our SCM in my day job.

I'm by no means so hard core about this particular 'element' that I 
can't see your side of things - and there is nothing wrong with doing it 
your way, of course.  I like being able to simply configure SCM access 
on a machine and then have everything needed (since I also put Ant 
itself into our SCM!).  Once I pull a project from SCM, I 'install' Ant 
by pointing to what I just checked out.

> locally.  It also seems to encourage deploying and distributing these 
> dependent libs, giving us yet another flavor of "DLL Hell".

Agreed, to some extent.  But have a look at Chapter 8 in our book to see 
how I organize library directories such that I don't simply have an 
unstructuring dumping ground called "lib".  Its an organized tree of 3rd 
party libraries allowing me to easily switch between library versions by 
simply saying -Dstruts.version=1.1b2 for example.

> libs.   I know that I'm tired of having yet another copy of 
> jaxp/xalan/xerces downloaded with every new open source project I'd like 
> to use.

Have a look at Maven.  It maintains a 'lib.repo' directory and 
automatically pulls down dependent libraries if you don't have them.

> So what is the general consensus?  Include them or not?  Please explain 
> the reasoning or experience that made you lean one way or the other.

I say keep them in SCM, but not necessarily under each project.  If 
there are compelling reasons in your project/environment that make this 
a bad idea, by all means adjust your process.  After all, I'm agile, so 
I'll go with the flow!  :)

> P.P.S: Seems to be rearing its head again in the J2EE space (include all 
> the dependencies in the war/ear jar).

Yes, I have issues with the WAR/EAR thing too - I've not had success 
deploying some dependencies in one place in an EAR and it seems some are 
needed in both the EAR and sub-WAR's too.

I think J2EE suffers more from DD-hell... deployment descriptors, that 
is. :)

	Erik



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