Loads of Ant 1.5 Goodness
  Posted October 31, 2002    PermaLink    Comments (0)  

At my work we finally got around to getting Ant 1.5 into the build process and taking advantage of the new features, which are just what we need. As a co-worker said "Ant seems to be writing the solutions to the problems we are having in the build as we develop them." I've only had a chance to put two of the major new features in, and boy are they good ones:

  • filterchain expandproperties
    This has eliminated about 200 lines of build.xml, all of them lines like <filter name="property" value="property"/>. This also eliminates a point of breakage where a config file depends on a new property, and we forget to put the values in wherever they are needed.
  • classfileset
    This eliminated another 100 lines of build.xml. And also helped get rid of about 100 classes from the applet jar we have. And if we create a new dependency to some class in a different part of the code tree? No build file changes! I used to use jini's classdep tool to ge this data but now I can just have Ant do it automatically, as a fileset even!
Given features like this it amkes build maintenence a treat to watch things optimize themselves, rather than haveing a dedcated makefile engineer.
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