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From "Frederic Lavigne" <>
Subject AntHill, the GUI for Ant
Date Sat, 22 Jul 2000 14:23:05 GMT

I recently downloaded Ant1.1 and look at the TODO list and I notice this
todo item:

 "* GUI front end -- examine tasks, add task properties, etc. Also,
    one button push build of a particular target."

I like doing UI (see to understand :) ) so I'm currently
working on AntHill, the GUI for Ant.

During this time, I encountered some problems.

1. Bugs related to sourcepath parameter in javac, javadoc task definitions:
AFAIK, all paths used in ant must be resolved by project.resolveFile(...).
But in Javac and Javadoc taskdefs, the srcdir and sourcepath are not
resolved. This makes the build fails if it started from a random directory.
I didn't look at all taskdefs, maybe this happens elsewhere (rmic  task?).
For now, I create 2 tasks MyJavac and MyJavadoc and override the setSrcdir
and setSourcepath.

2. I present task attributes in a tabular form. I would like to see these
attributes sorted (the most commonly used first).
The simplest solution will be to sort the setter methods in the code in the
smarter order.

3. I was looking for a DTD or schema for ant. I understand that as we can
create new taskdefs, we should also provide the corresponding DTD. I didn't
find any answer in the FAQ.

4. Is there a mailing list archive somewhere ?

5. AntHill is made with JDK1.2.
I will try to support JDK1.1/Swing1.1.1 but I rely on some user interface
library I've done.
I will need to rewrite some code for JDK1.1 (remove references to
collections package for example).

6. There is no version available yet (I started AntHill on friday).
I attached a screenshot of the current development version.

7. Planned AntHill Features are:
* create/edit/remove targets, tasks (at least!)
* new project, new target from templates
* ide plugin (jbuilder, forte, cafe) ?
* drag'n drop support
* automagically update dependencies when a target is renamed

Comments, Feature Requests, Suggestions are welcome.

Best Regards,

Frederic Lavigne,
java software at

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