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Ant 1.7.0

December 19, 2006 - Ant 1.7.0 Available

Apache Ant 1.7.0 is now available for download.

Ant 1.7 introduces a resource framework. Some of the core ant tasks such as <copy/> are now able to process not only file system resources but also zip entries, tar entries, paths, ... Resource collections group resources, and can be further combined with operators such as union and intersection. This can be extended by custom resources and custom tasks using resources.

Ant 1.7 starts outsourcing of optional tasks to Antlibs. The .NET antlib in preparation will replace the .NET optional tasks which ship in Ant. Support for the version control system Subversion will be only provided as an antlib to be released shortly.

Ant 1.7 fixes also a large number of bugs.

Ant 1.7 has some initial support for Java6 features.

.NET Ant Library 1.0

November 6, 2006 - Apache .NET Ant Library 1.0 Available

Apache .NET Ant Library 1.0 is now available for download.

This Ant Library contains support for tools like NUnit as well as the "old .NET tasks of Ant's core. It has been tested Microsoft's frameworks as well as Mono.

For more information see the Antlib's home page

AntUnit 1.0Beta2

October 29, 2006 - Apache AntUnit 1.0Beta2 Available

Apache AntUnit 1.0Beta1 is now available for download.

This Ant Library contains tasks to test Ant tasks using Ant instead of JUnit. For more information see the AntUnit home page.

Apache Ant

Apache Ant is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is kind of like Make, but without Make's wrinkles.

Why another build tool when there is already make, gnumake, nmake, jam, and others? Because all those tools have limitations that Ant's original author couldn't live with when developing software across multiple platforms. Make-like tools are inherently shell-based -- they evaluate a set of dependencies, then execute commands not unlike what you would issue in 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 Ant way too many times. Tools like Jam took care of this to a great degree, but still have yet another format to use and remember.

Ant is different. Instead of a model where it is extended with shell-based commands, Ant 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 that implements 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, Ant has an <exec> task that allows different commands to be executed based on the OS that it is executing on.


You can view the documentation for the current release (Apache Ant 1.6.5) online

Comprehensive documentation is included in the source and binary distributions.

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