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Top 15 Ant Best Practices (39 tags)
Nearly every open source Java project now uses Ant. The widespread use of Ant in these projects has naturally led to an increased need for a set of well-established best practices. Eric M. Burke, coauthor of Java Extreme Programming Cookbook and Ant: The Definitive Guide, offers his 15 best practices for using Ant and for writing well-crafted Ant buildfiles. These tips were inspired by his own mistakes on previous projects, or from horror stories relayed to him from other developers.

Ant 1.7: Using Antlibs (34 tags)
Most Java developers use Ant to do builds and are familiar with its core tasks. But Ant's tasks tend toward an undesirable coupling: everything important had to be a core task because it was hard to distribute new plug-in tasks. Fortunately, Ant 1.7's new antlibs feature makes it much easier to distribute and use new Ant tasks. In this article, Kev Jackson shows you how to use, write, bundle, and test antlibs.

An Ant Modular Build Environment for Enterprise Applications (24 tags)
Most Java developers already use Ant for their builds, but are you getting everything you could out of this tool? With a complex enterprise application, in which classes may be used in several tiers, it's important to control where the code lives and how it gets built, so you can build .jars with just the code needed for each tier. Les Hazlewood shows how this approach leads to faster builds and downloads, and even catches errant dependencies.

Developing for the Web with Ant, Part 1 (13 tags)
Developing for the Web is bread and butter for Ant developers. In part one of this two-part excerpt from Ant: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition, author Steve Holzner covers the tasks specifically designed for packaging web applications, including war, cab, ear, and jspc. And stay tuned for part two next week, which will cover the tasks for deploying web apps, including get, serverdeploy, and scp.

Diagnostic Tests with Ant (12 tags)
Determining what's gone wrong with your software--source or binary--in a remote location is no simple task. Before taking a call and walking the user through error-prone troubleshooting, why not collect information about the user's system and the application files? Koen Vervloesem shows how you can do this with Ant.