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From "Lars Chr. Hausmann" <>
Subject Platform indepent build environment suggestions
Date Wed, 18 Dec 2002 13:24:18 GMT

At my work I am in the middle of refactoring the build enviroment/build 
system (referred to as build environment in the rest of this mail) 
consiting of ant scripts, shell scripts etc. I was thinking that some of 
you might have had a similar task or done something, which can be of use 
to me. So I was hoping that I could get some good ideas.

I will try to sketch the current solution, and then the solution that I 
think would be the most optimal one, and maybe some of you could provide 
some input to whether that is feasible or you might have some other 
suggestions. (References would be fine as well).

Besides ant we use a lot of tools/utilies like jalophy, checkstyle, 
junit etc.

Currently, the developer does not need to setup anything on his machine, 
     it is all done by one script. I.e. before running ant, a script is 
run that sets up classpath and other relevant environment variable for 
developer _including_ classpath to the tools that are being used. When 
the script has been run, the develop is free to use ant to compile and 
test his work.

The catch is that we're currently developing under windows (some under 
solaris) but it all has to be tested under solaris, so we have the ant 
files and we have two sets of scripts that sets up the environment (one 
set for windows and one set for solaris). It has (of course) turned out 
to be a nightmare to maintain these two sets and keep the synced. 
Futhermore some developers run the standard windows cmd.exe others run 
cygwin. So this all leads to a lot of files having to be maintained.

Therefore ...

I was wondering/hoping if it would be possible to just have to set 
ANT_HOME and then the all the rest could be handled by ant. I somehow 
doubt that it is doable since I figure that the classpath can not be 
modified when ant is running, so the classpath to our tools have to be 
set before running ant, or have I missed something ?

That is it would be ideal for me if I could scrap the setup files (.bat 
and unix shell scripts) and do it all with ant. Ant would then have to 
set up classpath and enviroment variables as the first thing it does. I 
have looked into .antrc and ant_{pre|post).bat, but I'd rather only have 
the ant XML files if it is possible.

Any comments/ideas ?


Lars Chr. Hausmann

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