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From Peter Donald <pe...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Gump, Forrest, Maven and others
Date Wed, 27 Mar 2002 20:38:55 GMT

On Thu, 28 Mar 2002 00:23, Sam Ruby wrote:
> It still is not clear to me what value Maven-as-a-build-tool provides over
> Ant.

In a word "templating" - something I have been advocating since 2000 on 
ant-dev but without luck as yet.

Take a look at the excalibur project. Theres a whole chunk of products - each 
with a separate build.xml. Each build.xml is 99% identical. In all the build 
files there are only a handful of differences - these being

* dependencies (ie which jars should be added to project.class.path)
* name of build file ala "Excalibur Baxter" (ease of integration into IDEs)
* optional steps (ie should you rmic anything)

So using a very simple project descriptor I could theoretically generate all 
the build.xmls from that.

Even better I could add a lot of complex ant munging into the build.xml that 
is not feasable to be handmaintained over many products. (ie Could look for 
different products and give warnings or download them if missing etc).

All this transformation would be managed from one simple file as compared to 
15 different complex files like it now is avalon.

FWIW I have been using something similar to maven since about Jan 2001 and 
find it invaluable. I basically have an xsl sheet that processes a project 
descriptor to generate the build.xml. I then have a bootstrap.xml that 
applies transform (if needed) and calls generated build.xml. It is not as 
"heavy" a solution as maven but then again it is not as complete as maven.

If ant integrated templating into the core then maven would not be as useful 
as it is now but as yet not all of the ant committers believe it a good thing 
and ant doesn't offer a "complete build solution" IMHO at least not without 
too much work.



"If you don't know where you want to go, we'll make 
sure you get taken." 
Microsoft ad slogan, translated into Japanese.

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