ant-user mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Erik Hatcher <>
Subject Re: JDD's views on Ant after n years
Date Mon, 05 Apr 2004 10:01:58 GMT
And also two active Ant committers views here (follow link to Stefan's 

My take, which includes many in-person conversations about Ant with 
JDD, is that XML was a very *pragmatic* choice at the time.  If it is 
no longer the best way to do things, then we should evolve rather than 
feel stuck in a rut of angle brackets.  Maven and Jelly aren't the next 
big thing, IMO.  In fact, the creator of Jelly apologizes for it:

and mentions Gravy.  Rake is also a cool alternative.  Gravy could be 
the next step, maybe?  Obviously we're grappling with the boundaries 
between scripting and being declarative.  The big system builds that I 
have crafted have gotten ugly over time and end up being tougher to 
maintain than I'd like.  Scripting has not been a need, although we do 
have some code generation (Ruby + ERb) that we fire off with <exec>.  
With the new power of Antlib/<macrodef>/<scriptdef>, so much of the 
scripting can be hidden quite cleanly behind standard Ant task syntax.

I'm agile, but pragmatic.  While the force of an established user base 
is strong - we're dealing with "soft"ware here.  It is malleable and we 
should be ready and willing to effect changes.  The lure of Maven, 
Groovy, and the plethora of new frameworks, API's, tools out there show 
that many are not adverse to change despite the hurdles.

And the irony is, with JDD doing so much Cocoa Mac development now, 
he's using make under the covers of Xcode :)


On Apr 2, 2004, at 9:19 PM, Drew Davidson wrote:

> Just got this forwarded to me by a friend.  An interesting perspective 
> on the original genesis and eventual evolution of Ant.
> It is reminicent of Stuart Feldman, author of the original make, who 
> rethought using tab as a start character for the executable part of a 
> target but couldn't change it because he already had a supported user 
> base.
> - Drew
> -- 
> +---------------------------------+
> < Drew Davidson | OGNL Technology >
> +---------------------------------+
> |  Email:          /
> |    Web:   /
> |    Vox: (520) 531-1966       <
> |    Fax: (520) 531-1965        \
> | Mobile: (520) 405-2967         \
> +---------------------------------+
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail:
> For additional commands, e-mail:

To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

View raw message