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From Bob Jamison <rjami...@lincom-asg.com>
Subject Re: Ant rant
Date Mon, 13 Nov 2000 18:26:55 GMT


Nick Bauman wrote:

> Question: WHAT THE HECK IS ANT?
>
> Now I know what ant is, I'm just hyperbolizing. But...
>
> It's just that I got the entire Tomcat 3.1 tree to compile with a single
> Makefile in around 10 minutes. I can't figure out what Ant is helping this
> project with. Maybe I'm just stupid or something but this Ant thing
> doesn't really impress me very much. Make is very stable, very cross
> platform; I just don't see what's so cool about ant.
>
> Why is ant better than Make?
>
> And don't say "ant is cross platform, make is not" because that just isn't
> true. Was someone just bored with the wheel and wanted to reinvent it?
>

I can think of one major thing that restricts the use of Make on Java.
The wizards at Sun, when they implemented inner classes, decided
to use $ as the class name separator, like
MyClass$SomeThread.class
(why, O why, not % or @ or something else!  ;-(     )

Make just -freaks- on $ when doing dependencies.  In makefiles,
I had to hardcode every name with a $ in it with single quotes, in
order to prevent Make from attempting name substitution.

Another problem with using Make,  is not make itself, but Javac.
Previously ,  and I think it has been fixed now,   javac did
not return a true/false properly, so Make did not know when to stop.
Also,  javac did not do a thorough enough dependency check.



Bob



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