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From giacomo <>
Subject Re: Standardizing build.xml files
Date Fri, 07 Sep 2001 05:12:39 GMT
On Thu, 6 Sep 2001, Berin Loritsch wrote:



> 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
> *${install.dir}/conf
> * install.doc.dir=${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):
> 'all'
>     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
> 'install'
>     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.
> 'uninstall'
>     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.
> 'clean'
>     This target deletes all files that are generated by the build
>     process--but does not delete files used to configure the build
>     process.
> 'distclean'
>     This deletes all files that are left from clean and returns the
>     project to its distributed state.
> 'docs'
>     This generates all documentation for a project.  This includes
>     user docs and javadocs.
> 'javadocs'
>     This simply generates the javadocs for the project.
> 'printerdocs'
>     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.
> 'dist'
>     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.
> 'check'
>     This target is used to compile and execute any unit tests that
>     are built into the project.
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