- Ant is a Java-based build tool. Instead of a model where it is extended with shell-based commands, ant is extended using Java classes
- Instead of writing shell commands, the configuration files are XML-based, calling out a target tree where various tasks get executed.
- Installing Ant :
- Add the bin directory to your path. Set the ANT_HOME environment variable to the directory where you installed Ant. Assume ant is installed in c:\ant\. The following sets up the environment:
- set ANT_HOME=c:\ant
- set JAVA_HOME=...
- set PATH=%PATH%;%ANT_HOME%\bin
- ant buildfiles are written in XML – build.xml. Each buildfile contains one project and at least one (default) target.
<?xml version="1.0"?> <!-- compile java files from all subdirectories --> <project name="First" default="build" basedir="."> <target name="build" > <javac srcdir="." debug="false" optimize="false" includes="**/*.java" /> </target> </project>
- A project has three attributes: name: the name of the project. default: the default target to use when no target is supplied. basedir: the base directory from which all path calculations are done
- Each project defines one or more targets which are a set of task elements you want to execute
- When starting ant, you can select which target(s) you want to have executed
- A target has the following attributes: name: the name of the target. depends: a comma-separated list of names of targets. if: the name of the property that must be set in order for this target to execute
- It should be noted, however, that Ant's depends attribute only specifies the order in which targets should be executed - it does not affect whether the target that specifies the dependency(s) gets executed if the dependent target(s) did not (need to) run.
- NOTE: In Cygwin in the build folder. Just typing ant, will build the default target of the project. But typing ant assign1.test for example, will build dependents too.