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From Bruce Atherton <>
Subject Ideas for future directions for Ant
Date Mon, 20 Feb 2012 23:01:50 GMT
I thought I would let people here know that there is some discussion on 
the Developers list about possible future directions of Ant. Perhaps 
some people here would like to join the Dev list, at least temporarily, 
so that they could contribute their thoughts.

Briefly, some of the ideas that have been batted around include:

   1. Keeping build file compatibility but dropping backwards 
compatibility of embedded programming of Ant in other programs (this 
compatibility goes back over 10 years and makes significant changes to 
the core behaviour of Ant more difficult). This new version of Ant would 
probably become Ant 2.

   2. Basing Ant 2 on Java 7 since there are huge performance increases 
on File I/O and a complete revamping of how file systems are addressed. 
Ant 1 would continue to be developed and maintained in parallel for 
quite a while, so no one would be abandoned due to JVM requirements.

   3. Reworking the core of Ant to reflect the lessons learned from the 
past decade of build systems. This would allow new concepts to be 
adopted in the core engine, to simplify the design, and to make it Ant 
more flexible so that new features and build styles could be better 

   4. Keeping most existing tasks as they are since they are so well 
debugged and tested, with perhaps some minor changes to bring them up to 
modern standards of coding like making them POJOs with annotations.

   5. Adding features like:
     a) Identifying ways for Ant to automatically find parts of a build 
that can be run in parallel. This allows taking advantage of multicores 
for example.
     b) Distributed Ant builds in a cluster or a cloud.
     c) a new build style that is about moving resources from state to 
state rather than just defining targets and tasks.

If you find any of these interesting, or if you have your own ideas to 
add, come join us. Subscribe to the ant-dev mailing list with an email 
to **. You can always unsubscribe whenever 
you want from the same email address you subscribed with by sending an 
email to

If you'd like to review what has been discussed already before deciding 
to subscribe, you can see some of the threads in the archives: 

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