Upcoming Book: Ant in Action

by Tim O'Brien

Steve Loughran's Ant in Action is an upcoming book to pay attention to. Why? I don't have numbers, but i wouldn't be surprised if a majority of Java programmers still use Ant every single day. Steve blogged about the upcoming book 4 days ago, but a few things caught my attention:

  1. "Libraries are managed with Ivy 1.4.1. Pulling down artifacts, sharing across projects."

  2. "I've chosen Luntbuild over CruiseControl for the continous integration server. CruiseControl is a very high-touch tool, and it doesn't let me chain work across projects the way Luntbuild, Bamboo and the like can do."

  3. "Deployment with SmartFrog. We look at how to do do a complete deployment of database, app server and applications, with JDBC driver installation and all the other details needed to bring up a full functional application server."

  4. "imports, macros, and presets"

New Stuff: Some links

  1. Luntbuild - automates builds, used to achieve continuous integration. an alternative to CruiseControl and Continuum. There is a free version, but there is also a professional version.

  2. SmartFrog - A project from Hewlett Packard Labs in Bristol, UK. configuration, distribution, and ignition (see below)

  3. Ivy (now in the Apache Incubator) - Ivy is a "dependency manager". It will bring something like Maven's dependency management to an Ant build (but it also isn't Ant specific). you define your There is also an Ivy Repository which contains Ivy XML files that describe a software artifact and its dependencies (example Commons HttpClient 3.0)


anjan bacchu
2007-04-16 17:48:51
hi there,

nice post.

TYPO : "his technology looks very intereting, and "
you mean interesting ?


Tim O'Brien
2007-04-16 18:32:15
Good catch Anjan, typo fixed
2007-04-17 14:36:57
Interesting and different.

2007-04-26 08:04:49
Ant is a good build tool but it has two disadvantages which discourage it's use.

1. Ant uses XML which can be complex and bloated and requires the complexity and verbosity of tags.
2. Ant is very Java specific and Java requires a good build system for lack of one.

Ant doesn't really address the central issue of a Linux Unix Make tool replacement inside the Linux Open Source space. This is something that should be addressed.

A decent make tool should not have as much complexity as Ant. Also, it is possible to make a good build tool without XML. A make replacement should also be able to run without the Java JVM. This is important since to gain a wider perspective what really needs to happen is the development of a build tool that can support a make replacement.