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Ant: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition by Steve Holzner

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Chapter 3. Building Java Code

Ant is the premiere build tool for Java developers, and this chapter focuses on the Java build process, from compiling Java code with the javac task through compressing and packaging the results with tasks such as jar and tar. Along the way, I’ll discuss several central build issues, such as keeping track of the build number, storing that number in a JAR file’s manifest file, getting input from the user and acting on that input, calling one Ant target from another, creating Javadoc with the javadoc task, and more.

Compiling Code

The javac task compiles Java source code. You’ve seen javac at work many times in this book but haven’t exhausted what this task has to offer by any means. You can get an idea how extensive a task it is by its huge number of attributes, shown in Table 3-1.

Table 3-1. The javac task’s attributes

Attribute

Description

Required

Default

bootclasspath

Specifies where to find any bootstrap class files.

No

 

bootclasspathref

Specifies where to find any bootstrap class files, given as a reference.

No

 

classpath

Specifies the classpath you want to use.

No

 

classpathref

Specifies the classpath you want to use, given as a reference to a path.

No

 

compiler

Specifies the compiler you want to use. If you don’t set this attribute, this task will use the compiler pointed to by the build.compiler property, if set. If that property is not set, the default compiler for the current JVM is used.

No

 

debug

Specifies whether or not your code should be ...

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