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From "Conor MacNeill" <>
Subject RE: [suggestion] re: Bootstrapping Ant
Date Mon, 07 Aug 2000 23:13:25 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stuart Roebuck []
> I've probably got this wrong - It wouldn't be the first time!
> As far as I understand it, if you download the Ant source you have to
> build it the first time using a two stage build process

If you download a clean image from CVS, you can just type build. The build
scripts will recognize that lib/ant.jar is not present and perform the
bootstrap automatically. The idea is to be like the other Jakarta projects.
The bulk of these seem to use build.bat/ to build the project.

> using two
> different
> shell scripts which are currently maintained to run under Windows and
> Unix.  These scripts rely on the pre-existence of Java and the java
> compiler.

I think ant itself, and not just the build scripts rely on the pre-existence
of Java and the java compiler. Not much we can do there :-)

> Why on earth are we using highly platform specific shell scripts
> to build
> a package that was created to allow cross platform builds to be platform
> non-specific?

If you look at the build script, you will see that it is mostly a front-end
to the ant scripts. They are not that complex. The ant scripts (ant.bat and
ant) are also platform specific but a highly convenient way to run ant. I
doubt you are suggesting we remove these platform specific scripts, are you?

> Why don't we insist that the CVS source includes a sufficiently
> up to date
> ant.jar (and required libraries) to be able to build itself using
> itself.

There are situations where an existing ant.jar will not be able to build a
new version of ant. Where a new feature is added to ant and also used in
ant's build.xml, it will always be necessary to bootstrap ant. This happens
rarely, but it does happen.

> This may make the source distribution larger but it seems to make a lot
> more sense to me at least!
> Any thoughts?

Having the ant.jar in CVS is unnecessary, so why bother? It is not that
difficult to build ant purely from source.

> Have I lost my trolley?
> Stuart.

Conor MacNeill
Cortex eBusiness

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