OT: [Gllug] Debian or Slack

Daniel P. Berrange dan at berrange.com
Tue Feb 24 10:53:39 UTC 2004

On Tue, Feb 24, 2004 at 08:10:43AM +0000, Ian Scott wrote:
> > [1] Along with most things in Java, ANT sucks in ooh so many ways. I
> >     never thought I'd be glad to be using automake/autoconf again.
> >     My current gripe is the lack of an 'if' statement means you have to do 
> >     conditional execution of a rule, you need to do convoluted rubbish like 
> >     writing a target that sets a variable & then invokes another target 
> >     which has an 'unless' attribute set. Grr.
> Yeah - ant is good if you just want to compile Java, but it gets nasty if you
> do anything vaguely complicated.

Even then its not much use - it can't even recompile dependant classes
correctly as standard. And if you do enable that feature it slows compile
to a crawl.

> I have an ant file that
>  - uses different JDKs for different bits of code
>  - runs sqlplus wrapped in a Java class to compile PL/SQL
>  - precompiles JSPs
>  - loads java stored procedures into a database
>  - checks config files
> ... etc, etc.
> This is really nasty to maintain, and its slow.  It does Work (Just), but I'd
> rather have something that Just Works!

Yeah, it all gets so verbose & convoluted that you can't tell what the
hell the build.xml is doing by reading it. We finally got fed up & wrote
an XSL script that could auto-generate build.xml based on a short (20 line)
application.xml meta file. This worked well until we started having to
work with 30 or so applications per-project at which point our build.xml
grew to about 2 MB & ant spent 40 seconds just to parse the damn thing.
After a lot of debugging turns out the real killer wasn't the size of the
file, but the number of <path> elemenets - ant scales really badly on these.

> Now I've had to write a perl script to do the releases (and call ant to do the
> build) - which is SOOOOOOO much nicer to work with! Every so often my boss
> tells me I should rewrite it in ant, and I laugh at him.  

Yeah, we're moving more & more of our stuff out of ANT and into Perl[1].


[1] We're even doing all our Windows stuff with Perl too - we tried
    shell scripting but cmd.exe sucks too much :-(
|=-               http://www.berrange.com/~dan/gpgkey.txt             -=|
|=-   berrange at redhat.com  -  Daniel Berrange  -  dan at berrange.com    -=|
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