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From "Edwards, Jayme" <>
Subject RE: How to convince our IT manager to allow ANT?
Date Wed, 12 Apr 2000 18:02:15 GMT
Additionally Ant can be used to shell command lines with the "exec" command. I've tried building
with nmake from visual studio 6.0, but I don't think Ant converts the quotes properly that
are required for specifying the build configuration.


<exec dir="src/win32/someproject/" command="nmake /f &quot;someproject.mak&quot;
cfg=&quot;someproject - Win32 Release&quot;" os="windows" output="someprojectbld.txt"/>


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 1:17 PM
Subject: How to convince our IT manager to allow ANT?

I've been testing out Ant for doing our java builds instead of make, and I'm
that it's a superior tool.  I was able to easily do things that would have
taken me a lot
longer to write in make syntax and the build.xml files are much simpler to
read and

Yesterday, myself and one of our system architects tried to convince our IT
manager to
officially allow ANT for building java programs, and met with little

The arguments were:

1. Him: Ant doesn't do anything that make can't do.
   Me:  Because make can call any shell command, there's really nothing make
can't do
        if you work at it hard enough.  My point is that Ant does things
more elegantly.

2. Him: Since Ant would only be used for java builds, we'd need to support 2
tools, Ant
        for java and make for C++.  Therefore, higher support costs.
   Me:  Ant is simpler than make, so it will not have as many problems
requiring a
        build expert as make will.  Also, it can be optional for java, so
not every
        developer needs to be trained to know Ant.

3. Him: I thought javac already automatically detected dependencies and
compiled all the
        necessary files, which means your makefile would generally be
trivial and not
        require a sophisticated tool.
   Me:  First, I've heard of problems with javac with big directories of
files being
        compiled.  Second, I don't think javac can autocompile needed
classes which are
        in different packages (which we use extensively).

4. Him: Make is standard, Ant is not, and may never become a widely used
   Me:  I expect some sort of XML based tool to become a widely used
replacement for
        make, although you can't predict whether Ant will or won't.
Besides, it
        provides value in the short run and increases developer
productivity.  Finally,
        so what if it's not a standard?  As long as it's useful to us, it
        matter if other companies are all using it.

So, the question is:  "How do I convince a reluctant manager to see the
value of Ant?"
I am planning to research javac's automatic compiling ability, but I don't
put much
faith in it.  I just didn't have hard proof at the meeting to show.  I can't
support costs, so I guess I'm going to have to rely on showing him how it
can increase
productivity.  We're going to try to convince the head of configuration
probably tomorrow, and then go back to our manager if he will join our side.

Any suggestions?

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