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Help, Apache Ant for Dummies! (Lowest level most dummed down guide)

Amaru Shakur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 50
hello all i was wondering where i could find the most dummed down tutorial for using apache ant (or the best/ most basic one, to take someone from little to no experience who doesnt really know how java works, i just know write code and to learn apache ant).

heres alittle background on me. I have been programing for 6 years in java and until 1 month ago it was all in textpad or something similiar and it was all in one folder with a main method in one class. now im using eclipse and working in the ant world (much better than compiling everything by hand like i did in textpad or drJava). However i have little to no experience what is happening other than whats in the .java file. I write almost anything but im not sure how the jvm works or what exactly a .class does, ect. so if there was a good thing about how java works on your machine or what turns into what, like from high level java code to byte code, to jvm code, to machine code (i have no clue)) thats also a book i should buy.

i checked out their(apache) documentation and it wasn't bad, but i was looking for something a bit more hands on. like something where i could follow it and build.xmls (the ant files as i go along and learn how references work ect)

generally speaking the For dummies book have never been too hard for me but i doubt someone would write one for Apache Ant. (maybe some 3rd party wiki or some developer has something basic? or is their documentation the lowest level there is)?

*****Long story short if i were to go to borders or amazon what kind of book is the closest to a click by click line by line dummies guide for someone who wants to learn ant? thank you

Even though im marked for death I will spark till i loose my breath
Peter Johnson

Joined: May 14, 2008
Posts: 5852

I swear by Java Development With Ant. It is a little outdated, but still an excellent introduction and reference.

JBoss In Action
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 33130

Welcome to JavaRanch!

I think Ant in Action is a good title for beginners. It's not "dumbed down" in that it doesn't assume the reader is a fool. But it does explain everything clearly and step-by-step with plenty of examples you can just copy in and run. See my JavaRanch review for more details.

It's also a current book and addresses possible issues/gotchas with Ant 1.7 (the current version.) While I like the book Peter recommended, it doesn't have this latest information.

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Anirudh Vyas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2006
Posts: 93
Look for Maven in Action coming soon! Maven is a better tool than Ant.

Vyas, Anirudh

Vyas, Anirudh
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
Maven is a better tool than Ant.

That, of course, is a highly contentious statement. It should be prefixed by "I think that ..." Many people who like Ant dislike Maven.
[ July 18, 2008: Message edited by: Ulf Dittmer ]
Jaikiran Pai

Joined: Jul 20, 2005
Posts: 10441

I agree with Ulf here. I have been using Ant for a long time now and i just started using Maven for some of my sample applications. I don't yet hate Maven , but i do see that both these tools, though are used for building applications, are very different from each other.

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Joe Harry
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Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 10032

I guess Mavan internally uses ANT runtime for build purposes. I started using Maven and to tell you, it is really awesome.

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Anirudh Vyas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2006
Posts: 93
Ulf et. al,

I apologize, i was merely stating my opinion, you are right, i should have added "I think".

Vyas, Anirudh
Amaru Shakur
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 17, 2008
Posts: 50
thanks alot all, the help was appreciated.
and sadly im stuck with ant because thats what everyone uses and i dont think they would want me to switch half way through a project to Maven.
Paul Clapham

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 19973

"Tupac Shakur", please check your private messages for an important administrative matter.
I agree. Here's the link:
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