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From Gilles Gaillard <>
Subject ant refugees
Date Sat, 12 Sep 2009 14:17:25 GMT

I think I'm one of these ant 'refugees' you spoke about in your July mail exchanges.

Since I noticed you didn't make any progress in publishing the page you were speaking
about in your mails (I know free time is a rare thing ... but users like to see updates
and news produced regularly ;-) I thought that the following questions could also help
you to understand what kind of questions such a refugee could expect an answer to.

In summary, I've around 20 projects that build using a bunch of ant scripts and yes
I would be very interested in using buildr; and of course introducing buildr in the
existing build should be as little disturbing as possible.
Additional notice: I'm a complete newby Ruby.

So here the list of questions, divided in two parts:

1. Basics
- where does buildr expect to find ant itself
- where does buildr expect to find ant scripts
- for syntactic reasons linked to ant history, I must currently keep on using ant-1.6.2
   is that a blocker point - where do I specify the ant version I want to use ?
- my projects layout looks like the standard one you described but is not exactly the same.
   For example, the 'target' build directory is named here 'build'. Where in buildr can I
   change the layout or the directory names ?
- As a first step wouln't it be better for my use-case to use ant-wrapper without buildr ?
- Otherwise, I guess that in a first step I can implement the use of buildr by calling my
   usual ant targets for full compilation (compile) and distribution (dist), leaving to other
   targets unavailable to buildr but still available for developers (partial compils, etc..)
   Yes but where do I specify how to match your standard build to my targets ?

2. Next steps
As a next step, I would like to improve my build and reduce the complexity of scripts usage
by implementing an upper layer by using buildr/ruby making all ant public targets available.
Is that the way you expect ant users to proceed, what advices would you give me for that
purpose ?

Last note, I would have expected to find an 'Overview' page somewhere between 'Getting Started'
and 'Projects' that gives an overview of the system and how it works.

Thanks and regards,

-- Gilles

ps. about the apache site (, in the browser I use (IE),
all first letters on the left are mangled: for example, the W of Welcome does not show.

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