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What is Ant?

BeaglepackGP
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 21, 2004
Posts: 7
I've worked with C++ and Visual Basic, but I am completely new to Java, and I have know idea what Ant is, or what it means, but it seems to be a very popular topic on all the Java forums. Could anyone give me a simple explanation of what Ant is?

Also, this is off topic here I think, but I just bought the book, "Thinking in Java," by Eckel. I thought it was for beginners, but it's not for complete beginners, like me. Can someone suggest a good Java book that really is for absolute beginners?

Thanks,
BeaglepackGP
[ September 21, 2004: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
Mike Clark
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2003
Posts: 83
Originally posted by Anthony Marlow:
Could anyone give me a simple explanation of what Ant is?


Ant is an open source build tool specialized for building Java projects. Think of it as 'make' sans the white-space issues, offering better portability, and including lots of targets common to Java projects, such as rolling a JAR file. In return, you have to put up with lots of angle brackets. :-)

As for the Java book, I hear great things about "Head First Java".

Mike


Mike Clark<br />Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0974514039/ref=jranch-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pragmatic Project Automation</a>
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

Originally posted by Anthony Marlow:
I've worked with C++ and Visual Basic ...
Also, this is off topic here I think, but I just bought the book, "Thinking in Java," by Eckel.


Well, I had already read another Java book when I read Thinking in Java, but I thought it would be a pretty good introduction to Java, especially for somebody who has worked in C++.

In addition to Mike's recommendation, I would suggest Just Java by Peter van der Linden, and Java 2: A Beginner's Guide by Herbert Schildt. The recommendation is based on the reputation of the authors, I havent read those myself.


The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet. - William Gibson
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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61315
    
  66

Welcome to the Ranch, Anthony!

Please try to keep your posts on-topic for the specific forum in which you are posting. If you are interested in beginner Java books, we have a Java in General(beginner) forum that would be more appropriate for your book question.

Let's keep the remainder of this topic on the "What is Ant" portion of the question.

thanks,
bear
Forum bartender


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BeaglepackGP
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 21, 2004
Posts: 7
I just wanted to say thank you very much to both Mike and Sonny. I really appreciate the answers that you gave me. And Mike's explanation about what Ant is was great, and cleared up a lot for me.

[Less-than-friendly view on Bear's post deleted]

Anthony Marlow

[ September 21, 2004: Message edited by: Anthony Marlow ]
[ September 22, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61315
    
  66

Anthony, I'm sorry you feel that way.

I politely welcome you to the Ranch, point out the off-topic portion of your post, and provide a helpful link to the more appropriate location. I'm not understanding your umbrage.

Yes, the Ranch has rules. They are few and simple, but effective. They are all aimed at keeping this site an orderly, helpful, and professional (but fun, hence the Moose) place to learn Java and related technologies.

If everyone were to start posting off-topic subjects, but think that it's OK because they acknowleged it, things would get very messy very quickly.

If you have an issue with these simple rules, we have a forum specifically dedicated to discussion about this site. Please feel free to bring up any issues that you might have.

bear
Forum Bartender
Philippe Maquet
Bartender

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 1872
Hi Anthony,

Welcome to JavaRanch.

Besides the "avoid_off-topics_questions_whenever_possible" rule Bear pointed out above, JavaRanch enforces two additional main rules: the "be nice" one (that everybody here benefits of, including you if you stay with us), and our Naming Policy that maybe you simply not noticed. Could you please change your displayed name to meet it? You can do it here. Thank you in advance.

Regards,

Phil.
 
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