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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creating a good build process, March 30, 2008
This review is from: Ant in Action (Paperback)
"Ant in Action" is really the second edition of "Java Development in Ant." I think the original title was more descriptive as the book focuses more on process, tools and techniques than most Ant books. For example, they introduce continuous integration and why you would want to write unit tests. Not that the Ant coverage isn't good - it's excellent - just that the book is so much more. The book assumes you know Java, but walks you through everything else.

Like most Ant books the authors don't rehash the excellent online manual and API. For those new to Ant, features are clearly described with good examples and good descriptions of "what happens if ____." The flow diagrams helped visualize concepts nicely.

For those who have been using Ant, there are margin notes about what was added in 1.6/1.7 along with coverage of Ivy. I also liked the Java 6/JEE 5 examples. The techniques for writing reusable/maintainable code and extending Ant provided significant value. I was a little disappointed that the JUnit examples used JUnit 3.8. The authors did explain the reasoning and I understand their reason. I still would have liked to see it though as this book will still be used when JUnit 4 is in wider use.

Coverage of related tools is also useful. It's good to know what libraries to look into to increase productivity with Ant. I've been using Ant for complex builds for three years and still had a page of take away points from this book. I recommend it for the valuable information and techniques.
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