Ant in Action, Second Edition of Java Development with Ant
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We took a rest after the first edition of this book, Java Development with Ant. Erik went on to work on Lucene in Action, (Manning Publications Co., 2005) exploring the index/search tool in wonderful detail. Steve returned to HP Laboratories, in the UK, getting into the problem of grid-scale deployment.
In the meantime, Ant 1.6 shipped, not breaking anything in the first edition, but looking slightly clunky. There were easier ways to do some of the things we described, especially in the area of big projects. We finally sat down and began an update while Ant 1.7 was under development.
Starting the update brought it home to us how much had changed while we weren’t paying attention. Nearly every popular task has had some tweak to it, from a bit of minor tuning to something more fundamental. Along with Ant’s evolution, many of the technologies that we covered evolved while we weren’t looking—even the Java language itself has changed.
We had to carefully choose which technologies to cover with this book. We’ve put the effort into coverage of state-of-the-art build techniques, including library management, continuous integration, and automated deployment.
We also changed the name to Ant in Action. Without the wonderful response to the first edition, we would never have written it. And we can say that without the wonderful tools at our disposal—Ant, JUnit, IntelliJ IDEA, jEdit, and Eclipse—we wouldn’t have been able to write it so well. We owe something to everyone who has worked on those projects. If you’re one of those people, remind us of this fact if you ever happen to meet us, and we shall honor our debt in some way.