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#1 Oct. 16, 2005 22:32:58

Daniele M.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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ant VS make


Hi all, I've always used make for my java projects, but recently I tried
ant. It seems interesting, but it has a huge drawback: it is really slower
than make.
So theese are my questions: do ant give me some important advantages that
make doesn't? What tool do you use?

Thank you all!
Menoz

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#2 Oct. 17, 2005 09:36:49

David N.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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ant VS make


Daniele Menozzi wrote:
> Hi all, I've always used make for my java projects, but recently I tried
> ant. It seems interesting, but it has a huge drawback: it is really slower
> than make.
> So theese are my questions: do ant give me some important advantages that
> make doesn't? What tool do you use?

ant is pretty standardized around Java stuff - it has standard tasks for
a lot of things. Frankly though, I'm not terribly impressed - all that
XML seems to just get in my way, and of course, it is much slower than make.

I guess the advantage of ant is that all you need is java to make it
run,whereas if other people need to rebuild your code, perhaps they
won't have 'make' installed...

Saluti,
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#3 Oct. 17, 2005 10:12:20

Martin V.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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ant VS make


>From the Ant Web page:

Apache Ant is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is kind of like Make, but
without Make's wrinkles.

Why another build tool when there is already make, gnumake, nmake, jam, and
others? Because all those tools have limitations that Ant's original author
couldn't live with when developing software across multiple platforms.
Make-like tools are inherently shell-based -- they evaluate a set of
dependencies, then execute commands not unlike what you would issue in a shell.
This means that you can easily extend these tools by using or writing any
program for the OS that you are working on. However, this also means that you
limit yourself to the OS, or at least the OS type such as Unix, that you are
working on.

Makefiles are inherently evil as well. Anybody who has worked on them for any
time has run into the dreaded tab problem. "Is my command not executing because
I have a space in front of my tab!!!" said the original author of Ant way too
many times. Tools like Jam took care of this to a great degree, but still have
yet another format to use and remember.

Ant is different. Instead of a model where it is extended with shell-based
commands, Ant is extended using Java classes. Instead of writing shell
commands, the configuration files are XML-based, calling out a target tree
where various tasks get executed. Each task is run by an object that implements
a particular Task interface.

Granted, this removes some of the expressive power that is inherent by being
able to construct a shell command such as `find . -name foo -exec rm {}`, but
it gives you the ability to be cross platform -- to work anywhere and
everywhere. And hey, if you really need to execute a shell command, Ant has an
<exec> task that allows different commands to be executed based on the OS that
it is executing on.

vlcak
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#4 Oct. 28, 2005 13:17:29

Mark W.
Registered: 2009-11-02
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ant VS make


On Sun, 2005-10-16 at 23:32 +0200, Daniele Menozzi wrote:
> Hi all, I've always used make for my java projects, but recently I tried
> ant. It seems interesting, but it has a huge drawback: it is really slower
> than make.

There is a replacement project gantt that is a lot faster, but doesn't
support all traditional ant tasks yet:http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/ganttgantt is a replacement for Apache Ant for free operating systems,
written in C. It uses libxml2 and glib. gantt can be extended with tasks
written as separate programs or shell scripts. Distributed under the GPL
(which is a plus if your code base might not be compatible with the
ASL).

> So theese are my questions: do ant give me some important advantages that
> make doesn't? What tool do you use?

Not really imho. I use plain old Makefiles. The problem with ant is that
you need to install it everywhere first while make is already available
everywhere. Also the XML syntax it uses makes it pretty hard to quickly
read and understand (especially if you are used to simple make rules).
It also makes "bootstrapping" projects a bit harder, but that might be
specific to a lot of core libraries and tools I am involved with.

Cheers,

Mark

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