Hi, I'm trying to find out more info on Ant, but nothing I can find by searching anywhere is leading to an answer. Is Ant only for building things that are written in Java? Or can I use it for C/C++ and other things? That's pretty much all I wanted to know, but I can't seem to find it out. Thanks!
One of the useful things about Ant is that you can add your own custom tasks. There's even a collection of popular add-ons available from the jakarta ant website. Presently I'm using the antlr compiler-compiler task in an Ant buildfile, for example. Although the actual custom task itself must be written in Java, the custom task code can invoke non-java processes such as running executable commands and script files. It's really not that hard to create your own task.
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Ant is used predominantly for Java development, but there is a growing number of folks using it for C/C++ development. The C/C++ compiling task lives at the ant-contrib project on SourceForge currently, but the plan is to migrate it to Ant's own codebase when it is ready. Our book examples use it and it works very nicely.
Certainly a biased opinion here, but Ant's documentation is pretty darn good for an open source project. All tasks are fully documented, complete with examples. There is certainly room for improvement, especially at putting the details together into a more cohesive and higher-level view of how to use it, but by looking at a few examples and reading the existing documentation, folks can be using Ant in very little time quite effectively. Do you have some specific areas that you feel are lacking? And as always in the open-source world: thanks for volunteering!