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From "James Strachan" <>
Subject Re: attempting to formalize build process in commons
Date Tue, 25 Jun 2002 07:28:42 GMT
I agree with your comments John. I think once b5 is out then all mavenized
commons projects will support both vanilla Ant and Maven; also the Ant
build.xml that gets generated by Maven will be standardized for these
projects so at least for the Mavenized projects, standardization will occur.

----- Original Message -----
From: "John McNally" <>
To: "Jakarta Commons Developers List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 12:07 AM
Subject: attempting to formalize build process in commons

> A discussion on whether components should be able to alter their build
> system to involve anything other than a default ant install has started
> based around some components choice to use maven and not maintain an ant
> only build.
> Ant is used to build every project in jakarta that I am aware of.  As
> this is not imposed on the projects it shows that ant is a very powerful
> useful tool.  Commons does not have a single build system, instead each
> component is expected to supply its own build system.  The commons
> components have tended till now to adopt the informal standard that ant
> be used to create a built component.
> There are other projects in jakarta and elsewhere that are attempting to
> build upon ant to take some of the drudgery and complexity out of
> creating a build system around pure ant.  These projects generally
> provide other value add making them attractive for use jakarta projects
> and commons components and most likely more attractive as they gain
> maturity.
> The choice by some components to become early adopters of these new
> technologies has led to some to call for a requirement that these
> components continue to provide an ant only build process.  As that is
> really the only common thread until recently among the various builds of
> commons components, some would prefer to make that a formal requirement.
> As value-add's to ant become more common there is going to a tendency of
> commons components to want to use them.  So do we want to require a
> formal adoption by commons by vote before a component is allowed to use
> anything that has not already been approved by common use or formally.
> One such example (and if my details are wrong, the example is still
> valid as a hypothetical) is the use of unit testing.  As it stands there
> are no required targets or actions that would occur in a given target.
> But most projects have 'jar' and 'dist' targets that give a java library
> and the library along with documentation.  The default target is likely
> to be one of these targets but is not uniform either.  Now if we decide
> that a component be buildable using the default target by a default ant
> installation then components will not be able to have unit tests (using
> junit as the most likely example) run by default.  The developers of
> some components might be more influenced by XP than others and want the
> unit tests as part of the default build.  Should these components be
> required to move the unit tests so that the jar/dist/default targets are
> not dependent on them.  Or should the "buildable by default ant"
> requirement by imposed by requiring a 'ant-only-jar' target?
> It would seem common's components would benefit from some degree of
> uniformity in their build process and as they are all under the same
> subproject there exists the ability to try to enforce some uniformity.
> But is it really possible given that the build process can be seen
> differently by different groups of developers and they have already been
> given free rein?
> I come down on the side that more uniformity would be good, but it is
> going to be difficult to achieve by vote a year late.  That is why I am
> supporting maven as a potential solution that will not require
> conformance by fiat.  As it supplies enough value add that components
> will be likely to adopt it eventually.  And the current practice of
> components deciding their own build process and what libraries are
> required to build does not have to change.  Do others have more
> confidence in another process.
> Should a formal commons wide vote be required before components are
> allowed to use value-add projects like junit, maven, or centipede?
> I started out thinking I would try to lay out some possibilities for
> standardization, but I have already rambled too long and I am not
> confident that such a goal is possible, so I'll just stop and see if
> there are others that think standardization is possible.
> john mcnally
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