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From "Chappell, Simon P" <>
Subject RE: winning the case for ANT
Date Mon, 18 Oct 2004 15:15:15 GMT
I have to correct a few things here.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Erskine, Chris []
>Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 7:33 AM
>To: Ant Users List
>Subject: RE: winning the case for ANT
>XML is just a standard way of formatting data.  In this case, 
>the lines of data are script commands.

No! Ant is not a scripting language. Perhaps it should have been, but the reality is that
Ant is a build tool. It uses deterministic logic to build your application, given descriptions
of your project and the dependencies between parts. This works really well in most instances.
The biggest problem that I have seen with ant, is that people try to use it like a scripting
language and wonder why that causes problems.

>You could define this format as a scripting
>language.  Each tool has its own formatting syntax.  If you 
>look at Make, it
>has its own format that has the problem of the first character 
>on a line
>having to be a tab character to be a command for a target.

Make is a fine tool, but it's not the best tool for Java applications. I like make, wrinkles
and all, but I use ant for my Java projects.

>XML format is just the format that was chosen for ant to describe the
>scripting.  This is not a battle that will be won on merit 
>since it sounds
>like it is a religious issue for this developer.

Sounds like that project needs a good tech. lead to put their foot down and make a decision.
A tech lead needs to be somewhat like Linus Torvalds, a benevolent dictator. :-)

>ANT is not an industry standard.  I do not even know if I 

It most certainly is a de-facto standard on the Java side of the fence, especially on the
open source projects. To say otherwise is to display a certain amount of ignorance of the
state of the Java world.

>could define it as
>a best practice although I think it might be close.  It is a 
>tool that used
>by many people to automate their build and deployment of code. 
> It is very
>good at what it does which is why it is a popular as it is.  

It's popular, it's used by many people ... sounds like a de-facto standard to me.


>Chris Erskine


Simon P. Chappell           
Java Programming Specialist            
Lands' End, Inc.                                   (608) 935-4526

"Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well-informed just
to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

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