duncan 00/01/13 02:42:41 Added: docs index.html Log: initial checkin Revision Changes Path 1.1 jakarta-ant/docs/index.html Index: index.html =================================================================== BuildTool Readme


BuildTool is a Java based build tool. In theory it is kind of like make without makes wrinkles.


Why another build tool when there is already make, gnumake, nmake, jam, and others? Because all of those tools have limitations that its original author couldn't live with when developming software across multiple platforms. Make like tools are inherently shell based. They evaluate a set of dependencies and then execute commands not unlike what you would issue on a shell. This means that you can easily extend these tools by using or writing any program for the OS that you are working on. However, this also means that you limit yourself to the OS, or at least the OS type such as Unix, that you are working on.

Makefiles are inherently evil as well. Anybody who has worked on them for any time has run into the dreaded tab problem. "Is my command not executing because I have a space in front of my tab!!!" said the original author of BuildTool way too many times. Tools like Jam took care of this to a great degree, but still use yet another format to use and remember.

BuildTool is different. Instead a model where it is extended with shell based commands, it 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. Each task is run by an object which implments a particular Task interface.

Granted, this removes some of the expressive power that is inherent by being able to construct a shell command such as `find . -name foo -exec rm {}` but it gives you the ability to be cross platform. To work anywhere and everywhere.And hey, if you really need to execute a shell command, BuildTool has an exec rule that allows different commands to be executed based on the OS that it is executing on.


To get started using BuildTool check out the following topics:



To provide feedback on this software, please send mail to duncan@x180.com.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems.