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From "Neta Bar Tal" <>
Subject RE: Using Ant to build multitarget mixed C++/Java projects
Date Wed, 02 Jun 2004 07:39:39 GMT

I must say that as a java developer it is very easy to do what you are
looking for . I'm using $ANT technology  for something like 6 months and
did some great improvements using ANT tasks. I also tested the cpp tasks
involving compiling .px files (apply task will help a lot).
I come from make world and you can't compare between them, ANT is much
faster and the methodology of Java just help , because ANT can be run on
every machine with no problem at all ;-)....
I had the same problem that you face and I suggest that you explore a
bit more the capabilities of ANT before diving into production....;-)

The people here are very helpful for any matter of ANT.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dominique Devienne []
Sent: Wednesday: June 02: 2004 3:59 AM
To: 'Ant Users List'
Subject: RE: Using Ant to build multitarget mixed C++/Java projects

> From: Kreinick, Michael H. []
> I'm looking into various alternatives for building a set of products,
> written in a mix of C++ and Java (with some JNI). The products need to

> build under Windows, Solaris, and Linux using various compilers for
> each platform.
> They also need to be built with different versions of their library
> dependencies, then regression tested.
> I know Ant does have C++ build tasks. What worries me is whether Ant,
> designed with Java's build-once-run-everywhere model in mind, will
> work well to build the same source 5 or 10 different times. I've never

> used Ant before, and I haven't done as much reading as I perhaps
> should have, but it seems ill-suited to this kind of problem. I get
> the impression that if I hack hard enough I can make it happen, but
> that it won't be very clean because of the Java philosophy Ant takes
> for granted.
> I've looked for examples of this type of use on the Web and list with
> no luck. It seems few people are trying to use Ant for C++ at all, and

> none that I found are trying to do what I'm trying to do.
> So: Is Ant C++ support mature enough that I should even be thinking
> about using it for this? Has anyone out there tried the same kind of
> Would
> any experienced users like to offer a sketch of how they would go
> about it?
> Will I be fighting the Ant project model all the way?
> I'm also looking at sCons and boost.Jam for this. If anyone has other
> suggestions, they'd be welcome.

I've looked at boost.Jam, and found it too complex for my linking. Don't
know about sCons. I'm an Ant guy, who has done makefile (GNU Make,
IMake, Make, etc...) and I don't regret switching to Ant at all. Being a
VIM user, I've been interested in A-A-P, which is Python based and has
all the smarts of Bram behind it ;-)

For someone with no Ant experience, it's a steep climb up the Ant +
CppTasks learning curve, but from my point of view, if you have Java &
JNI & C++, Ant is the clear winner. The Ant community is active and
helpful, and the CppTasks community, although much smaller, well exists

I'm a bit bias to Ant, and don't know all the other systems, but Ant is
mature, CppTasks works great for me (builds large C++ and JNI libs on
Windows, Linux, Solaris). Ant is so easy to extend (for me at least ;-)
in Java, I can always do what I want.

Case in point: After being burned a few times by developers editing
javah generated headers, I now automatically generate them on the fly,
with proper dependency checking and all, as past of the build process.
They're not even checked in anymore, and never out-of-date. I'll make
that public eventually.

So in short, yes, Ant doesn't excel at native build, but it's doing more
than OK, and it's very flexible / extensible (if you're a Java guy like

Beyond that, it's all a matter of taste and whether the tool does it for
you or not. --DD

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