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From Shane_Curc...@lotus.com
Subject Re: [Proposal] Creation of the Apache XML "Ant" Project vote:+1
Date Mon, 15 Nov 1999 22:31:15 GMT

I'll vote on this one: yes, I'd love to see an XML-wide "Ant" java make
tool project (my reasons to follow):
Re: [Proposal] by <stefano@apache.org>
> The proposal is the following:
> 1) create a new subproject hosted in the xml.apache.org web site called
> "Ant"
> 2) create a new CVS module named "xml-ant"
> 3) create a new mail list named "ant-dev@xml.apache.org"
> 4) move the existing code from jakarta-tools to xml-ant
> 5) move the package names from "org.apache.tools.ant" to
> "org.apache.ant"
> 6) add XML group to James Davidson (original author of Ant) to allow
> write access to him which will be the maintainer of the project.

I'd love to see a reasonable make-equivalent in Java!
-- This would be a generally useful tool (at least to any Java developers
out there), so sure, let's see if we can build one.  I'd like to see it,
developers often ask for better make tools, plus it sounds like a fairly
small and reasonably bounded project, so it shouldn't take too much to get
it off the ground (seems pretty far along already, James!).
Note that I would *not* recommend mandating this for any apache projects -
simply make it available to everyone, and if groups like it, they'll use
it.  As Xalan-build-guy, I'll still have to evaluate Ant's use for Xalan
itself (looks promising but may need new features).

-- Ant is particularly appealing since it removes any 'make' dependencies
for Java projects if we can simply redistribute the ant.jar.  Ta-da:
download the project, all you need is a JDK on your machine - which you had
to have anyway to run the project anyway.  This gives us nearly free
cross-platform makefiles, a good thing - as opposed to using Cygwin's
GNU-equivalent make, there were still a large number of annoying UNIX vs
WinXX issues to deal with.   A stated goal in Stefano's proposal is keeping
the size small, so there can't be too many complaints about diskspace.

-- To echo <scott@eionline.com> and <james.davidson@eng.sun.com>, 'make'
(GNU make, imake, whatever flavor) is not available on many computers.
Also, plenty of modern WinXX (and I imagine Mac) developers may not be
familiar with the, shall we say, "cryptic" language of make - especially
with the proliferation of powerful IDE's these days, which hide most of the
build process anyway.

-- Ant uses XML for build and log files.  It's often good to "eat your own
dog food".  Plus, this can serve as a good example of a use of XML,
hopefully in a small way helping the whole xml.apache.org cause along.

-- Re: C/C++ users of the world: Ant is not (and IMO should not be) a make
replacement.  It should provide an option for Java-based projects who want
something besides make.  C/C++ projects can continue using whatever other
tools fit their needs.  Yes, this will mean that dual-language projects
(like Xerces and Xalan) may have two different make systems for the
different programming languages - which should be fine, since the actual
mechanics of the two builds will probably be quite different anyway.

Keep me in the loop for Ant-nouncements!

- Shane Curcuru
Automation, Test, and Build guy for Xalan
/* eof */

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