Item description for Ant in Action (Manning) by Steve Loughran & Erik Hatcher...
Overview Introduces the build tool for Java application development, covering both user defined and built-in tasks.
This second edition of a Manning bestseller has been revised and re-titled to fit the 'In Action' Series by Steve Loughran, an Ant project committer. "Ant in Action" introduces Ant and how to use it for test-driven Java application development. Ant itself is moving to v1.7, a major revision, at the end of 2006 so the timing for the book is right. A single application of increasing complexity, followed throughout the book, shows how an application evolves and how to handle the problems of building and testing. Reviewers have praised the book's coverage of large-projects, Ant's advanced features, and the details and depth of the discussion-all unavailable elsewhere.
This is a major revision with the second half of the book completely new, including: How to Manage Big projects Library management Enterprise Java Continuous integration Deployment Writing new Ant tasks and datatypes
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.5" Width: 7.5" Height: 9.25" Weight: 2.24 lbs.
Release Date Jul 12, 2007
Publisher Manning Publications
ISBN 193239480X ISBN13 9781932394801
Availability 0 units.
More About Steve Loughran & Erik Hatcher
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.
Steve Loughran currently resides in Corvallis, in the state of Oregon.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ant in Action (Manning)?
creating a good build process Mar 30, 2008
"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.
Excellent reference so far Mar 10, 2008
Being a general novice with Ant, I needed to get up to speed to amateur/expert level for my new job. So far its been a great reference getting in depth information about lesser used tasks in Ant.
Since I work on a large scale project here, Chapter 10, Working with Big Projects has really been the most useful for me. Overall, I would say this book fits my needs and doesn't require me to buy any additional Ant books at this time. I would recommend it to others in similar situations.
Very thorough update to a classic! Oct 8, 2007
Boy, was this new version that covers version 1.7 needed! Manning's first version was 2003 (Own it, too), and it was really starting to show its age. This book was, and still is, the only game in town. Its therefore a good thing it is written so well!
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.
The best and most complete book on Apache Ant Aug 17, 2007
As a build tool, Apache Ant has been in existence for quite a while now and remains the number one Java build scripting tool. A large number of books have been written on its implementation - both good and unfortunately bad - and here is a brand new one which covers Ant 1.7.
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!
More than just Ant Aug 6, 2007
A 500+ page book about a build tool. I guess your initial reaction might be the same as mine. Why would we need so much pages to describe a build tool.
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.