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From Rick Moynihan <>
Subject Using ant as a cross platform java process launcher
Date Tue, 24 Apr 2007 08:58:58 GMT

I have been using commons-launcher ( ) to provide a cross
platform way of launching Java processes.

Commons launcher is essentially a wrapper around ant that provides a
convenient mechanism for specifying JVM options managing the classpath
etc, in a cross platform manner.  It also gives you much of the power
and flexibility of ant.

However, I have been running into problems with it consuming CPU cycles
on Linux/Unix systems when the system should otherwise be idle.
Unfortunately the project seems to be suffering from a significant lack
of community, and attempts to contact the original developers and
resolve the issues have fallen largely on deaf ears.

Having glanced through commons-launcher, its heavy reliance upon ANT
makes me wonder what exactly it is doing that ANT alone isn't.  I can
see that it has less tasks defined than ANT (seemingly for a quicker
startup) and that it seems to leave the sub-processes input/output
streams untouched.

So my questions to the ant community:

* What is commons launcher doing that ANT alone isnt?

* Can ANT be used as a launch process for Java processes/daemons without
significant problems?

* Is there any interest within the ANT community to support this
use-case natively within ANT?

* Is there any interest within the ANT community in using a
cross-platform Java launcher which uses an ANT script to launch Java
processes/daemons etc?  I know I personally find the ability to use
ANT's pathlike structures, filesets etc to specify the classpath, manage
system properties etc very useful.  Does anyone else?

I'd be interested to see whether commons launcher could be revived, 
forked, or whether ANT could be made to support this use-case.  Any 
thoughts, comments or ideas will be gladly received.


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