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Ant PowerPoint Presentation

Ant

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Ant

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  1. Ant Build Tools

  2. Build Tools • Creating a product from source may take several steps: • Compile • Link • Copy files to various directories • Remove intermediate files • Generate documentation • It becomes problematic to do all these steps manually, first of all because it’s boring, second because it is error-prone. • The objective should be an automated tool that does all the work for you. Type or click one command and create a final product.

  3. Build Tools • There are a couple ways this can be done: • Write a batch file or script • The scripts tend to be hard to maintain • Use a tool designed for the task • Make • Ant

  4. Make • Make is the original tool for this sort of thing. Roots in the Unix world • The stuff to the left of the colon is the “target”, the stuff to the right the “dependents”, and the lines below that the actions to take • If a target is newer than its dependents, the actions are performed lib.a: x.o y.o z.o ar rvu lib.a x.o y.o z.o ranlib lib.a

  5. Make • Make has some well-known pathologies • The action lines MUST start with a tab, which is impossible to see • The action lines have platform-dependent scripting dependencies

  6. Ant • The platform restrictions weren’t so bad in the Unix world, but Java was intended to be cross-platform. A build file using Make couldn’t transition from a Unix to a windows box to a Mac box. Make tends to be C- and Unix-centric. • So ant was developed as a cross-platform build tool

  7. What File Format to use? • If you’re developing a new tool, what should the syntax of the file be? • The world needs fewer file formats. If you write your own unique syntax, like Make files, you wind up having to parse that syntax. That usually means a trip to yacc, lex, and friends. • Ant choose to use XML rather than develop its own syntax. This lets people leverage their existing knowledge of XML rather than learn a bunch of new rules

  8. Ant • Ant is a cross-platform, XML-based system for creating software products from source code. • It is NOT a scripting language. But that doesn’t stop some people. • Open source, available at www.apache.org

  9. Installing Ant • Get the binary release and set ANT_HOME and JAVA_HOME environment variables. Put the ant bin directory on the PATH environment variable.

  10. Example Fragment • Creates some directories to hold the output of the build process. • Matching <target> and </target> tags • Solo tags ended with “/>” • Uses XML tag attributes <target description="Preparatory actions for compilation and documentation targets" name="init"> <mkdir dir="build"/> <mkdir dir=“build/lib"/> <mkdir dir= “build/classes"/> <mkdir dir=“build/doc"/> </target>

  11. Targets • A “target” is something that needs to be done—create initial directories, compile source, create javadoc, create jar files, etc. • Targets can depend on other targets • The “compile” task can depend on an “init” task that creates directories for the products to land in

  12. Target Dependencies • You can add a comma-delimited list of other targets that depend on this target. If the dependent target depends on other things, those will run, too. <target name=“init“ description=“Create directories”> … </target> <target name="compile“ depends="init“ description=“Compile Java sources”> … </target> <target name=“jar“ depends=“compile“ description=“Create jar files”> … </target>

  13. Properties • You can define variables so things like directory names aren’t hardcoded through your ant file. <property description="Source directory" location="${basedir}/source" name="dir.src"/>

  14. A Simple Compile Task • Compile the source directory, put the results in the build/classes directory, and use the specified jar file <target depends="init" name="compile"> <!--Compile everything in the source directory -> <javac destdir="${dir.build.classes}"> <classpath> <pathelement location=“${lib.dir}/somelib.jar” </classpath> <src path="${dir.src}"/> </javac> </target>

  15. Ant Files • Often you need to specify lists of files (as in classpaths). It is brittle to do this by using a long quoted series of files • Path=“foo.jar,baz.jar,xml.jar,…” • Ant can handle this by using lists of XML tags • <Classpath> can have multiple <pathelement> tags embedded. • This is somewhat more maintainable than a single quoted list.

  16. Filesets • Often you want to specify a whole series of files, as with the classpath example, when many jar files needed to be specified • Rather than individually name every jar file, you can specify a set of files, in this case in the lib directory and all subdirectories of the lib directory. You can also use regexps to select files in the fileset. <classpath> <fileset dir="${dir.lib}" includes="**/*.jar"/> </classpath>

  17. Popular Ant Tasks • Javac • Javadoc • jar • Mkdir • Copy • Delete • Junit (automated tests) • FTP (FTP a result to a server)

  18. User-Written tasks • You can also write your own tasks with fairly low quantities of drama • This has been used to do things like automatically deploy servlets to a tomcat server as part of the build process

  19. Ant files • Ant files are usually named “build.xml” and usually reside in the root of your project directory. • To run, type “ant <targetname>”.

  20. Simple Example • Write an ant file for a simple project • Source directory, compile to a build directory, do jar and javadoc • Tasks for init, compile, jar, javadoc, clean Foo build.xml source a.java b.java build classes doc project.jar

  21. Simple Example • See http://www.movesinstitute.org/~mcgredo/ant/example.tar.gz for the example with a simple project

  22. Parting thoughts • Don’t depend on manual build steps if at all possible • The objective should be typing or clicking “ant” which leads to a functioning product from source • It’s possible, but probably a bad idea, to use ant for C++/C