- Paperback: 600 pages
- Publisher: Manning Publications; 2 edition (July 22, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 193239480X
- ISBN-13: 978-1932394801
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ant in Action: Covers Ant 1.7 2nd Edition
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About the Author
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.
Top customer reviews
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With the help of the book, I wrote a customized task in Java which is used by my build script.
The one downfall (not sure if Manning the publisher or Amazons fault) but Manning has an ebook version but it is not sold on Amazon. It is in pdf format and a native mobi for the Kindle would be nice.
So why 4 stars? I really, really, wanted a thorough treatment of the Ant API, and didn't get it. I selfishly want to call Ant from within Java code, but the section on Embedding only had a very simplistic example using echo().
I also have to give 4 stars because as the only book out there on Ant (at this level), there is nothing to compare it to.
This book is a retitled second edition of Java Development with Ant by the same authors but is not just a minor update - the back cover quotes 50% new content and I can well believe it. Personally, I have implemented lots of build processes using Ant and even written a book on its implementation myself. I therefore thought I knew most things about the tool - however I was pleasantly surprised that I still managed to learn some new things from this book.
In general I don't really like books over 250-300 pages - and this one stretches over 560 pages. Although there is probably some content that could have been left out, there are also gems such as Managing Dependencies with Apache Ivy (although I prefer the Ant tasks for Maven), Working with XML and Automating Deployment using a tool called SmartFrog. For me these chapters made the purchase of the book worthwhile.
If you are new or have limited experience of Ant then you should add an extra star to my rating. I believe this is probably the most complete book at taking you from an Ant novice to expert, in as short a time as possible.
It would have been nice to see some more examples of how Ant can be integrated into automated build processes, and rather strangely the book uses Luntbuild as an example rather that the more popular CruiseControl tool. Also it would have been nice to see how Ant can work alongside commercial tools such as the Build Forge build/release framework, application servers such as Weblogic or WebSphere and deployment tools developed by the likes of Tivoli or Microsoft. On the whole however, these are relatively minor complaints.
In summary, if you are new to Ant then buy this book now. If you are an experienced Ant user then well, still buy this book!
Well, after reading "Ant in Action" I concluded, it doesn't need. The book just described much more than just Ant.
The book consists of three parts. The first part is called "Learning Ant". This is basically the build tool part, which describes the basics of Ant and how to use it. Well actually, in part one it already goes a little further to also include unit testing and already some deployment related information.
The second part is called "Applying Ant" and goes well beyond just describing Ant. Chapter 10 describes working in large projects. Chapter 11 talks about managing dependencies and introduces Ivy. Chapter 15 introduces continuous integration and introduces Luntbuild (not sure why the authors not chose to describe CruiseControl, which is absolutely the most used CI tool). Chapter 16 alone would already be a reason to get the book and it talks about automating deployment and introduces a tool called Smartfrog.
The third parts is called "extending ant" and explains how you can extend ant, develop your own tasks and test them using AntUnit. It describes how ant is implemented so that you know how to extend it (and probably how to develop for it further).
When I started my journey through this book, I was a simple Ant user. The authors showed me that there are so much things possible with Ant and also explored the world around Ant. After finishing the book, I felt I have learned so much and it certainly improved my build scripting abilities. An absolute must read.
Most recent customer reviews
It is good for beginner to expert.