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From "David J. B. Hollis" <>
Subject Re: AW: antrc & ant.conf files
Date Tue, 20 May 2008 18:06:00 GMT
Hi, David

Ironically, the one which ISN'T exported, DITA_HOME, IS used in the  
Ant builds. But it's passed as parameter dita.dir. Obviously anything  
on ANT_ARGS is passed, so ought not need exporting as well. I don't  
think the others are, but I know the builds pick up the environment.

The DITA toolkit actually uses Ant to build documentation in various  
formats: html, help formats and PDF. So there's no software compiling  
at all. (This might also explain why I'm asking basic questions! ;-)  )

Whilst pondering this, it begged the question about whether ANT_HOME  
ought to be in .antrc or ant.conf, or not. If you've modified the  
system path in some way, or used symlinks on *nix, so that Ant can be  
called from anywhere, then it's probably a good idea to define  
ANT_HOME in one or other of these files.

However, if you're running a batch script which sets the path at run  
time, then that might set up ANT_HOME as part of the process of  
setting up the Ant environment before calling Ant. In which case, it  
would be superfluous!

Many thanks,

> On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 3:05 AM, David J. B. Hollis
> <> wrote:
>> I've ended up with this in an ant.conf file:
>> #!/bin/sh
>> DITA_HOME=~/DITA-OT1.4.2.1
>> DITA_HOME=`cd "$DITA_HOME" && pwd`
>> #export ANT_HOME="$DITA_HOME"/tools/ant
>> export ANT_HOME=/Developer/Java/Ant
>> export ANT_OPTS="-Xmx512m"
>> export ANT_ARGS="-lib $DITA_HOME/lib -Ddita.dir=$DITA_HOME"
>> Are you saying I don't need to export any of these? I can just  
>> define them?
> The ANT_HOME, DITA_HOME, ANT_OPTS, and ANT_ARGS will be available
> throughout the whole /usr/bin/ant shell script where they are used to
> start a Java process that executes Ant. If these variables are only
> used for starting up Ant, they do not need to be exported.
> However, once that Java process starts up, these environment variables
> won't be available. So, they will not be available in your Java
> process NOR (more importantly) in your build.xml file. That also means
> any environment variables that you're depending upon for your <java>
> or <javac> tasks will only be available if exported.
> --
> David Weintraub

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