Monday, September 17, 2007

From Ant to Maven

I spent part of the last week migrating Platypus from Ant to Maven 2. This is a migration I've been itching to do for a while. I don't much like Ant, because I find I spend far too much time struggling with it.

Maven, by comparison, works on a "convention not configuration" model that centers on a specific build sequence and an expected file layout for your project. Understand these two, and Maven makes builds simple and very rich. For one, Maven downloads all dependencies for utilities and reports you want to run as part of your build cycle. There is no more wrestling with Ant's dependency errors. In addition, Maven's end product (beyond the build's binaries) is a website that it re-creates on each run; it loads the site with reports and data about your build. So, you and the team always know where things stand with the project.

The one complaint I read about Maven 2 is that it's hard to find the info you need to set it up and use it. This is actually not the case, if you know where to look. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of digging before you find that two excellent 300-page PDF tutorials are available at no cost. Plus a great introduction. So for those who need to know, here are the links to Maven support docs:

Those resources should solve nearly any issue you encounter. In an upcoming column in SD Times, I describe in greater detail the benefits I have found in migrating from Ant to Maven. Try Maven, you'll like it!


Anonymous said...

The second link to "better builds with maven" is broken. :(

Anonymous said...