Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks’s Top 15 Ant Best Practices is a good read. Speaking as someone whose new build files tend to be copied and hacked about from existing projects, I really should pay more attention to my poor neglected ant files. I especially liked the recommendation to use zipfileset to create archives, as it means you don’t have to create temporary directory structures prior to creating your JAR, WAR and EAR files – something I do quite a bit.

4 Responses to “Ant best practices article”

  1. jez

    Take a look at megg [ ] which I wrote to take care of this very problem (hacking old projects up for build files), try the simple “java -jar megg.jar java” example 🙂


  2. Kris Thompson

    I have used megg and love it but I don’t see how megg compares to Ant… they complement each other. Maybe megg does more than I think and what I use megg for. I like megg for creating a build environment for users of web frameworks. Sometimes distributions make no sense and CVS directory structure is even worse, megg takes care of that for me.

  3. jez

    Quite right Kris, I didn’t want to imply that megg could replace Ant, quite the opposite, I’m trying to encourage the use of Ant and other best practices, with megg as a quickstart thingmybob. I’m glad you love megg, must take a look at that framework you pointed me towards, it didn’t look like an ‘open’ framework (forgot name, sorry too many xmas parties) but if I can get a HelloWorld stylee thing working in it, and it looks like a good framework, I’d love to include it (I really wish I could remember its name)
    Maybe over the xmas break I’ll revist the core of megg, rather than the templates, see if I can add some of the funky things I’ve been thinking about (on the backburner) for it, especially allowing user templates, and cool template creation guides etc…
    anyways merry xmas…


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