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From Dino Valente <>
Subject Re: Including other antfiles
Date Thu, 10 Aug 2000 17:12:58 GMT
At 11:13 AM 8/10/00 +0930, you wrote:
[stuff deleted]
>I can't speak for the commiters or ant, this is what I have surmaised
>over a few weeks on being on the list.
>The separation of the rules to the use of rules is one of the
>confusing aspects of make.  As a developer (and lets assume I dont
>know make) I write a makefile with some "magical" targets that are
>defined in the configuration management plan.  These targets will
>compile, jar, clean etc my project automatically for me. 
>If I need to do something a different from the magical targets I need
>to make modifications myself but I need to override the magical
>targets and now I need to know how make works in order to do so.
>In Ant I have all my targets and tasks in the build file.  It does
>mean that you can end up with a large build file if you are doing
>complex things.  But since there is a file for each project I can make
>changes to my specific file and I know I wont break other existing

You can argue the same about OO libraries usage. If I copy code instead of
reusing code then you are reducing dependencies. But we know as developers,
this is a maintainence nightmare.

>Remember that you only have 20 projects.  So you really only need to
>set up Ant for one project, parameterize the file so its easy to make
>changes, and copy to 19 other projects.  You can then use this "Ant
>Template" for any new projects that start.  It starts to become a
>maintenance nightmare if you need to make the same change to all the
>build files.

This is what I am trying to avoid. I gave an example of this: all rules has
to be propagated from the project build file to the template file. My rules
are really simple but yet Ant makes it a nightmare and complicated.

I don't understand why ant is not being designed for this. People make the
argument that ant is not make. Well, true. However, I'm pointing out the
most common use and Ant makes it really difficult to use. Don't we want to
attract more people to use it?


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