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Java Development with Ant [Paperback]

by Erik Hatcher, Steve Loughran
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 2002 1930110588 978-1930110588
Encompassing Java-centric software project best practices for designing and automating build, test, and deployment processes using ANT, this book is written for developers using Java in large software projects and those who have reached the limits of classic IDE development systems. Benefiting developers who apply extreme programming methodology to Java projects, this resource provides detailed coverage of ANT and explains how to use it in large projects and extend it when needed. In addition to using ANT for Java applications, it includes discussions of servlets and J2EE applications, which cover the majority of Java development projects.

Editorial Reviews


"A great resource . . . learn how to integrate Ant into [a] personal set of best practices for software configuration management solutions." --

"Erik and Steve give you the answers to questions you didn't even know you have." -- Ted Neward, .NET & Java author and instructor

"Required reading for all Java developers . . . You will only need one Ant book if you buy this one." -- Java Guide

"This should be required reading for all Java developers." -- Denver Java Users Group

"[A] must read for everyone using Ant in the development/build/deploy process for Java applications." -- Werner Ramaeker's Weblog

"[This] is essential for anyone serious about actually shipping Java applications. I wish I could say I wrote it." -- Stuart Halloway, chief technical officer, DevelopMentor, and author, Component Development for the Java Platform

About the Author

Erik Hatcher, one of the original Lucene in Action authors, is a committer on the Ant, Lucene, and Tapestry open-source projects, and coauthor of Manning's award-winning Java Development with Ant.

Steve Loughran has been an active user and developer of Ant since the year 2000, a committer on the project since 2001, and a member of the Apache Software Foundation since 2004. He regularly lectures on the problems of big-system builds, distributed testing, and deployment. He is a research scientist at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Bristol, UK.

Robinson is the author of a monthly on-line column at the Swing Connection and works as an engineer for WebScope, Inc.

Pavel Vorobiev has been a software developer for companies such as Right Works and Netfish Technologies where he was a senior software engineer and architect working on the design and development of procurement and B2Bi workflow software involving early-adopter XML standards, J2EE, and web services technologies. He was also a programmer analyst for Merrill Lynch. Pavel is the coauthor of JFC: Java Foundation Classes, Migrating from Java 1.0 to 1.1, The Java 1.1 Programmer's Reference, and The Official Netscape Java 1.1 Programming Book. He lives in San Leandro, California.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications (August 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930110588
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930110588
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, broad coverage. Well researched. Easy to read. September 20, 2002
This should be required reading for all Java developers. Java Development with Ant shows how to automate most of the drudgery involved with large Java projects. The authors included a lot of great examples and practical advice covering the essentials of Ant, building, testing, and running code.
Despite its size, the book is not full of endless code listings or mundane command references, which are available for Ant elsewhere anyway. They do include a brief (60 page) appendix which is useful when you are reading away from your computer.
The first two chapters are great for a new Ant user. I had used other people's build files before reading this book, but had never created my own before. The first chapter told me want Ant is and the second helped me create my first build file.
The third chapter explains the nuts and bolts of Ant datatypes and properties. The third chapter was a little too dense for my first read (or maybe I was too dense for it). No matter, I read it and figured I would refer back later.
The next four chapters teach you how to integrate jUnit, run programs using Ant, package a JAR (or WAR, or EAR), and deploy it. Chapter 8 recaps everything from the first section with a reasonable sample project. Large enough to be real, small enough to understand.
Part 2 is titled Applying Ant and includes many interesting chapters. Each chapter is like an article about a particular application of Ant such as XDoclet, XML, EJBs, etc. These are great reads and work independently of one another, so you can skip around to what you are interested in.
Part 3 talks about Extending Ant by writing tasks, mappers, and filters. Here again, they avoid printing out the API by focusing on practical examples.
The appendices have good info as well.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good programmers are often terrible authors.. as you will find out from both this book and the manning book on Struts. Having been written by Ant contributors and "junkies" it tends to be more of an "ant treatise" than a tutorial on how to use
it in the most common and useful situations. So buy it if you want a long and wordy description of of ant and all its quirks,
but you want lots of clean, short, to-the-point, easy to follow
examples you might get disappointed here. Also, be aware that this book is 500 pages long, and if learning routine web and business programming can be boring, wading through 500 pages about how to compile package deploy and test that code is boring beyond belief!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 5 Java books January 3, 2006
Ant is a great tool that lets you pretty much automate any process- whether Java build-related or not. This book is then THE one-and-only book to buy - it serves as a tutorial AND a reference. The author's breadth of knowledge on Ant is amazing and the examples he presents are wonderful.

The key areas I found the book very helpful on were

1) JUnit integration & report creation (using XDoclet /JUnitReport)

2) Deployment-related activities

3) Breaking out commonly used Ant targets for reuse

But there is so much more - my edition has been well thumbed

and has many yellow post-it notes for quick lookup.

Based on what I've learned in this book I've been able to quickly and easily integrate the following components into my build process

1) Checkstyle (syntax checker)

2) PMD ("bad practice" checker)

3) JUnit & Clover (code coverage)

4) JDepend (Class interdependcy reporting)

5) Javadoc

6) An automated nightly build of the code and deployment to WebSphere

I can't say enough about this book - but I would be lost without it and thus am loathe to lend it. If you use Ant or WANT to use Ant then buy this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Ant AND great for other obscure utilities January 18, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I never would have known about such time savers as Middlegen if I hadn't read this book.
It has better documentation on some of these other utilities than do the utilities themselves. For example, read this book instead of the CruiseControl documentation, if you need CruiseControl on your project.
It's also very well-written and organized, with just the right amount of examples - no tedious 10-page listings.
Much better than the O'Reilly lizard book. What's up with the lizard anyway? They had a ready-made animal cover in Ant, and they ignored it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply put, the best Ant coverage anywhere January 26, 2004
Being a long-time fan of computer books with animals on the cover, I had bought a certain other Ant book before I got this one. But after I got this book, I've not cracked open the other book even once. Meanwhile, I'm considering getting another copy of JDwA because the one I have now is starting to look ragged from all of the use I've gotten out of it!
This book covers everything there is to know about Ant 1.5. It takes you from basic build steps such as compiling right up to more advanced topics such as code generation with XDoclet and on to packaging up web, enterprise, and web-service applications. And if that isn't enough, you'll also learn how to extend Ant with custom tasks.
If you're using Ant to build your Java projects, then you *need* this book. If you're not using Ant to build your projects, then why aren't you? Get this book and find out how to streamline your builds. Don't waste your time or money on any other Ant book. This is the best Ant book, bar-none.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complete Resource on Ant
Definitive, I recommend it for anyone wishing to learn and use A Neat Tool for Java development and programming efforts.
Published 15 months ago by locust
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the OBSOLETE 1st edition. Buy the 2nd edition "ANT in Action"...
This is the OBSOLETE 1st edition. Buy the 2nd edition "ANT in Action" (2007).

Dear amazon,
You need a forward pointer to the current, 2nd edition of this book which... Read more
Published on August 10, 2010 by testmaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference on Ant
I read the first 4 chapters of this book to get a basic understanding of Ant. Since my employer already uses Ant, the skills that I need is to understand an Ant build file and how... Read more
Published on May 30, 2007 by Yudha Herwono
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Sorry for the short review...

I was completely new to Ant before buying this book, now I feel like an expert. It's a very well structured book. Read more
Published on June 30, 2006 by J. Capcik
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, I never would have thought ant was so rich
Ant to me was just a build script, nothing more or less. I got curious about what you can do with ant and figured, how could you make a full book with this topic. Read more
Published on June 2, 2005 by Max C. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Still an excelent book
Almost in each project which I write I find this book to be valuebale.
If you are willing to put more time on ant than just to know the trivial parts, than you must read this... Read more
Published on May 31, 2005 by D. Orbach
4.0 out of 5 stars More than just a book about how to use Ant
This book covers a lot more than just the mechanics of how to use a build tool (Ant). It has a lot of great "best practices" info and a lot of relevant examples. Read more
Published on May 25, 2005 by Michael S. Wolfson
2.0 out of 5 stars Long lists of Ant methods
This books main failing is that it ends up with Pages of listings of the methods that you can use in Ant which is not really why one buys a book in my opinion. Read more
Published on May 20, 2005 by Martin Brady
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Except the First Chapter
Ant (Another Neat Tool) is a build tool that facilitates building applications using Java. To use Ant, you construct a build file that then directs the various Java software... Read more
Published on October 14, 2004 by John Matlock
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Ant book available
This is by far the best Ant book on the market. The authors know Ant inside and out and are able to explain it's use. Notice I said "it's use". Read more
Published on September 11, 2004 by Bob
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