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From "Ruel Loehr" <>
Subject Re: information about ant
Date Wed, 26 Mar 2003 14:45:49 GMT

As a newbie ant user i have some questions.  Can you please give more detail

1. get my sandbox up to date   -   What is a sandbox?
3. checkstyle / validate my source files  - What does this mean?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Herr Christian Wolfgang Hujer" <>
To: "Ant Users List" <>; "Scott Purcell"
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: information about ant

Hash: SHA1

Hello Scott,

Am Mittwoch, 26. März 2003 15:13 schrieb Scott Purcell:
> [wants to know why Ant is important, has never used make]

well, I am really curious why you never needed to use make.
The main point about Ant (or make) is build automation.

When I change something in an XML- or Java-based project, e.g. change an XML
file, an XSLT stylesheet, a tag library descriptor, a Java source code or a
JSP, I use Ant to:
1. get my sandbox up to date
2. create temporary directory, e.g. to contain generated documentation,
classes or test reports
3. checkstyle / validate my source files
4. automatically create source files from others (e.g. using XDoclet)
5. compile / transform my source files
6. test / validate the generated files
7. Create test reports
8. Generate / update documentation
9. Generate archives like .tgz, .zip, .jar, .war, .ear
10. Install / Upload / Deploy the files

Of course Ant is not required to do that.
But Ant helps to automate that process.
I don't like repeating the same things over and over, no matter wether it's
mouse clicks on a gui or commands on a cli. Therefore I automate anything
that could possibly automated. On some projects I use make, on some projects
I use Ant, and on most projects I use both.

So instead of typing lots of commands on the CLI, or clicking through a GUI,
just run "ant" or "ant install" or "ant upload" or "ant deploy", depending
what I want to do, e.g. build full project, do everything, just deploy
already build, only generate the docs and so on.

This saves a huge amount of time, hour for hour, day for day, time, that can
be spent more reasonably.
I don't like to do stupid things. I'm a programmer. I want to be creative. I
want to concentrate on the creative part of software development: Analysis
and design of tests and the software that satisfies those tests.

Modern IDEs automate some parts of the build process, but they are not able
automate every part.
E.g. with Ant you could possibly even connect to a database sending some SQL
commands or remote a machine using telnet.

More than that, Ant is independent on the IDE. No matter wether you use
JBuilder, NetBeans, Forte, Eclipse, Emacs or Vim, Ant is your tool. I think
for all of these Ant integration exists. (But I only know for sure about Vim
because I use that).

Hope that helped a bit.

- --
Christian Wolfgang Hujer
Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter
Telefon: +49  (0)89  27 37 04 37
Telefax: +49  (0)89  27 37 04 39
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