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From "Steve" <>
Subject RE: Building from a list...
Date Tue, 25 Apr 2006 19:00:31 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Close [] 
> Sent: Wednesday, 26 April 2006 1:43 AM
> To:
> Subject: Building from a list...
> hello,
> i'm having a bit of a brain-fart coming up with a solution to 
> this situation.  we have about 130 JAR files that we are 
> building for a particular project.  most of these JARs are 
> dependent on each other so they require a specific build 
> order.  i was hoping to create a list of the projects that 
> compose each JAR and feed this list to ANT to build one at a 
> time.  i know the Ant-Contrib project has a <foreach> tag 
> that allows for iteration, but i'm a bit stumped on how to 
> build everything from a properties file.  is this possible?  
> or is there a better way to approach this?

This issue is specially address by the Depot tool [1].  It supports the
declaration of project production criteria which in-turn is used to drive
the ordered creation and population of ant projects.  The primary objective
of Depot is to separate build criteria from build solutions and enable build
systems that are driven by the production criteria.  

While Depot is not final, it does provide:
 1. transitive dependency management
 2. plugin build system deployment
 3. automated path management (build, test and runtime)
 4. source normalization
 5. automated filtering, compilation, jar production, testing, etc.
 6. build automation support via custom processors
 7. build customization via ant

Supporting tutorials are available [2].

Depot is currently being used to handle production of about 36 projects
under the DPML Project.  Earlier experiments within the ASF community have
validated the process against more than 100 projects. Project numbers in the
order of 100+ are perfectly reasonable (although I should note that
determination of requests to build all consumers of a modified project can
be CPU intensive when dealing with large numbers of projects - but this is
generally not an issue).

We are currently working on the finalization of production criteria
information which basically aids in the automation of build procedures.  In
most cases you should be able to eliminate a build file altogether (because
sufficient build criteria is captured in a centralized production-oriented


Cheers, Steve.

Stephen McConnell

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