Ant is the future of Java software build, test, and deployment. It's cross-platform, quick, extensible, and easy (goodbye makefiles!). It's a de facto standard for open-source Java projects of virtually every size and type. And, with Java Development with Ant, it's more useful and flexible than you ever imagined.
Eric Hatcher and Steve Loughran -- both official Ant project committers -- stretch Ant 1.5 for all it's worth. Through an example development project -- a documentation search engine -- they show how Ant automates mundane tasks and makes the "impossible" possible.
For instance, you'll learn how to use Cruise Control to generate new builds as code is checked into CVS (and automatically notify relevant developers when a build fails). You'll transform XML-based user manuals into web-based documentation (and even PDFs). You'll automate deployment to application servers. You'll test web applications and EJB layers through their own containers, using Cactus. As you may have guessed by now, this book is especially strong on its coverage of Ant add-ons. Ditto for Ant integration with other software, such as the JUnit testing framework and Tomcat application server.
The authors' application case study helps frame discussions of the entire Ant project lifecycle, from crafting reusable, easy-to-maintain build files through testing, continuous integration, packaging, and deployment. They also show Ant at work in developing SOAP/WSDL web services -- even in identifying potential interoperability issues. (Did you know there's an Ant task for compiling .NET C# programs?) Be prepared to be continually amazed -- and amazingly productive. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.