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From "Chappell, Simon P" <>
Subject RE: winning the case for ANT
Date Mon, 18 Oct 2004 17:52:25 GMT

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Laconia Data Systems []
>Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 12:25 PM
>To: Ant Users List
>Subject: Re: winning the case for ANT
>Could you give us an example where make is more (cheaper/faster/better
>performance) buildtool than Ant ?

Sure. This is all part of "horses for courses". I used to write small to medium sized make
files mumble-mumble years ago before I started working with Java. Now, my make file usage
is with open-source software building, using provided files.

There are basically four ways to build a system/project without compiling individual files
(please tell me that no one does that these days! :-)

1. make.
2. Using the build capability of an IDE.
3. Ant
4. scripts.

I think that we all know that scripts are not the way to go. Likewise, the build systems of
most IDEs are totally incompatible, so in reality that's out as well. Hopefully, no one needs
Ant explained to them around here.

This leaves us make. Make was designed (hacked and mutated? ;-) in a Unix environment for
building compiled languages, such as Pascal and C. It is very good at that. So for any project
that used a fully compiled language, like C, then I would strongly consider using make.

Autoconf is another useful tool to mention here. It's what a lot of open-source projects use
to generate their make files. Autoconf understands the differences between operating systems
and generates o/s specific make files for a project. If you've ever run the triple:

make install

then you've used the results of autoconf.




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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