Creating software is a complex process that requires different pieces of code. Using good build tools can greatly simplify the process. This guide to Ant documents this new build tool for Java application development.
Ant is the premier build-management tool for Java environments. Ant is part of Jakarta, Sun's open source reference implementation for the J2EE specification, is written entirely in Java, and is platform independent. Using XML, a Java developer describes the modules involved in a build, and the dependencies between those modules. Ant then does the rest, compiling components as necessary in order to build the application. Using Ant, Java developers can: define build chunks, the results that they must produce, and the dependencies between them; automatically retrieve source code from source control systems such as PVCS; build applications by having Ant compile the necessary source files in the proper order; Ant build files are written using XML so programmers are not required to learn yet another scripting language. They will likely already know XML, and will be able to leverage that knowledge. Ant is an open source project, and part of the Jakarta project. Jakarta is Sun's open source reference implementation for the JSP and Servlets specifications, and is part of the Apache group's work.
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Jesse is a developer with HotelTools, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. He has been working exclusively with BEA WebLogic developing and managing hospitality applications over the Internet. Eric Burke is a Senior Software Engineer with Object Computing, Inc. in St. Louis, MO. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and has a background in C++, Java, Unix, GUI development, and Web development. In addition to consulting/mentoring, Eric has teaching various Java, Object Oriented, and XML courses for the past four years. He currently acts as a mentor for three different clients on projects that are heavily utilizing Servlets, Swing, XML, XSLT, EJB, and CORBA.
Table of Contents
Foreword Preface 1. Ant Jumpstart Files and Directories The Ant Buildfile Running Ant Ant Command-Line Reference Buildfile Outline Learning More 2. Installation and Configuration The Distribution Installation Configuration 3. The Buildfile Why XML? Ant Building Blocks An Example Project and Buildfile The Buildfile Execution Process AINASL: Ant Is Not a Scripting Language Buildfile Authoring Issues 4. Ant DataTypes DataTypes Defined XML Attribute Conventions Argument DataType Environment DataType FileList DataType FileSet DataType PatternSet DataType FilterSet DataType Path DataType Mapper DataType 5. User-Written Tasks The Need for Custom Tasks Ant's Task Model The Task Life Cycle An Example Through Analysis: The jar Task Miscellaneous Task Topics 6. User-Written Listeners The BuildEvent Class The BuildListener Interface An Example: XmlLogger The Parallel Problem 7. Core Tasks Task Summary Common Types and Attributes Project and Target Core Task Reference 8. Optional Tasks Task Summary Optional Task Reference A. The Future of Ant B. Ant Solutions Index
Ant the Definitive Guide by Jesse E. Tilly
Jesse E. Tilly
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