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Tools for application distribution

 
Rob Hunter
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I have a few class files that I want to "bundle up" for easy distribution (includes 2 "package"s - one that creates frameworks/layouts and the other works with shapes and drawings). What tools are available for packaging up code written in Java? Recommendations would be most welcomed as would reasoning for preferred use. Thanks again.
 
Rob Spoor
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That's what JAR was created for.
 
Rob Hunter
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What's Ant used for? I was wondering if there was a GUI application for creating jars and such, as opposed to command-line. Thanks for the response.
 
Hunter McMillen
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Ant is a tool for automating software build processes. I'm not sure it would be the best idea if you were just packaging up a few files. As Rob mentioned, JAR would be a good choice. A google search for "GUI to create Jar files" turned up a few decent looking results.

Ant homepage, if you want to read more about ant:
http://ant.apache.org/


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Rob Spoor
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Ant can be used to automate compiling and creating JAR files, but Ant itself will not create a distributable file. You need to tell Ant to create one for you, usually using JAR.

I believe most IDEs (Eclipse, Netbeans, etc) allow you to create JAR files quite easily, but I suggest you read this so you know at least how it all works. You'll be glad when you need to create JAR files and you don't have an IDE available.
 
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