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From "Gerhard Froehlich" <>
Subject RE: Standardizing build.xml files
Date Tue, 18 Sep 2001 07:14:49 GMT
I've no right to vote, but a thought +1 to this idea

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Berin Loritsch []
>Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 4:27 AM
>To: Avalon Development;
>Subject: Standardizing build.xml files
>I proposed this on the general lists, and got a couple +1s
>>from the folks there.  Please let me know if this makes sense
>for us.  This proposal is a minimum set of targets and
>conventions for build.xml files.  This allows a familiar
>environment for all projects (if adopted).
>I propose that we all use a standard target convention for
>all Ant based projects.  This is something that helps adopters
>of GNU software all over.  A person who has never seen GNOME
>or GCC knows they can compile it by running "./configure"
>and "make all check install".  These conventions make it
>easier for the newbie to come up to a fresh project and
>get it to compile.
>One of the reasons I have come up with the proposal is that
>every project has its own conventions.  I have been involved
>in at least seven Apache projects in some capacity or another
>and have contributed code to four of them.  They each have
>different conventions.  One of the ways I work is building
>the project completely fresh before testing--I uncover more
>bugs that way.  I would very much like to run "./build clean all"
>but most projects have a different target name for the default
>build target.  Already most projects use the following target
>names: "clean", "docs", "dist", and "javadocs".  Most "clean"
>targets leave some artifacts behind, and only a couple projects
>have the concept of "distclean".
>I propose we borrow a number of conventions from the GNU
>"make" utility manual
>If a program can be installed, then a build file must
>use these properties (which can be overridden by a user's
>.antrc file).  The properties and default values follow:
>* install.dir=.
>* install.bin.dir=${install.dir}/bin
>* install.lib.dir=${install.dir}/lib
>* install.doc.dir=${install.dir}/docs
>By using these properties, Ant is able to customize how the
>program is installed and filter the scripts to point to the
>proper jars, etc.
>The standard targets I propose we all adopt are similar to
>the Make utility conventions ('all' is the default target):
>    Compiles the program with debugging enabled by default.
>    This target is not required to build documentation.  Standard
>    compilation properties and defaults are:
>    * build.debug=on
>    * build.optimize=off
>    This target ensures that everything is built, including
>    documentation.  It then copies the files in the corresponding
>    directories already mentioned above.  All jars should be
>    considered libraries, and scripts should be provided to run
>    them.  If installation is not provided by a project,  the
>    build script should display a message to that effect.  Optionally,
>    {build.optimize} could be set to "on" for this target.
>    This target removes all the project files from the afformentioned
>    directories.  IMPORTANT:  The uninstall script should NOT
>    assume that the {install.[*].dir} directories are direct decendants
>    of the {install.dir} directory.  If installation is not provided
>    by the project, the build script should display a message to
>    that effect.
>    This target deletes all files that are generated by the build
>    process--but does not delete files used to configure the build
>    process.
>    This deletes all files that are left from clean and returns the
>    project to its distributed state.
>    This generates all documentation for a project.  This includes
>    user docs and javadocs.
>    This simply generates the javadocs for the project.
>    This generates a printer friendly version of the documentation.
>    Most projects dynamically build their documentation from XML
>    anyway. They should provide a nice and simple stylesheet that
>    avoids all the HTML tables embedded in tables approach most
>    site docs use.
>    This target should be used for generating all the artifacts used
>    for a distribution.  That means the tar ball and zip file used to
>    distribute projects, and any dynamically generated announcement
>    files.
>    This target is used to compile and execute any unit tests that
>    are built into the project.
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