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Subject Re: Build tool decision **
Date Fri, 21 Jul 2000 03:35:20 GMT

I helped set up the build process for that project, which uses Ant, and
involves about 3000 source files and 5 or 6 different compilers/code
generators. It used to take well over two hours to build everything, but
switching to jikes from javac knocked it down to under 20 minutes (most of
which is spent running ejbc...damn weblogic...). Some of the other large
projects here at thoughtworks have started using Ant as well.

Our experience so far has been very positive. It's a little rough around
the edges, but it's definitely stable, and the folks managing the code base
have kicked ass. Their commitment to keeping things simple is appreciated!

One issue you might have is that the current version of ant still chokes
trying to pass a large number of filenames to jikes. A few days ago I
posted the hack we use here to get around the problem, which involves
dumping all of the arguments to a file and invoking jikes using the "jikes
@args.txt" syntax.

FWIW, you also might want to check out the "Open Development Environment"
over at alphaworks which came out a few days ago. I haven't had time to
check it out yet...

Matt Foemmel
ThoughtWorks, Inc.

                    "Daniel L.                                                           
                    Rall"                To:              
                    <dlr@collab.n        cc:     Vijay Raghavan <>
                    et>                  Subject:     Re: Build tool decision **      
                    Sent by:                                                             
                    09:14 PM                                                             
                    respond to                                                           

Vijay Raghavan wrote:
> My group is in the process of making a build tool decision: ANT vs GMAKE
> So here is the question:
> Does ANT have any known stability issues? Is there a problem with, say,
> compiling thousands of Java files at a time.
> Can someone give me a feel for the size of projects ANT has been tried
> with?

Hi Vijay!
At JavaOne in SF this year, I attended a talk by Martin Fowler (author
of "Refactoring", "UML Distilled", etc.).  Someone in the audience asked
for his method of build automation.  Turns out his company is using Ant
for a Java-based desktop application which takes like hours to build (or
something ridiculous like that).  He urged the entire audience to try
out Ant as their next generation build tool.  Other projects which I am
familiar with that use Ant as their primary build tool include Ant
itself, Tomcat (Apache and Sun reference implementation of a servlet
container for the 2.2 Servlet API), Turbine, and WebMacro.  I first
started using it to build Tomcat version 3 from CVS.  I've never once
had problems as a "end-user", and I've always been using an Ant CVS

Daniel Rall <>

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