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Re: Java compilation: I don't like Ant

From: Paul D. Smith
Subject: Re: Java compilation: I don't like Ant
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 18:04:04 -0400

%% "David Copeland" <address@hidden> writes:

  dc> So, for the make developers/maintainers out there: is there an
  dc> answer in adding features to make to facilitate Java development
  dc> the way it facilitates C development?  Is this a case where a
  dc> separate tool really is needed?

Hm.  First, realize I've never written a line of Java in my life so I
really have only a vague concept of what it takes to "facilitate Java

Second, I don't think there's anything in make that's really dedicated
to "facilitating C development".  Rather, make is designed to work in a
"serial" environment where only one target file is generated from zero,
one, or more prerequisites.  That fits C, but it also fits a very
significant majority of other language environments (as well as lots of
other things besides programming).

My understanding of Java is that they want to take a bunch of input
files and generate a bunch of output files, and that the mapping between
the input and output is not simple (that is, can't be calculated using
string manipulations on the file names).

One possible new feature that I've always wanted which might help Java
folks is the ability to tell make that a single invocation of an
_explicit_ rule can generate multiple target files.  Right now (as a GNU
make extension) you can tell make that a single invocation of an
implicit (pattern) rule can generate multiple targets, but not explicit
rules.  Doing the latter would require some new syntax, which is one
reason I've not really made a serious run at this feature.

 Paul D. Smith <address@hidden>          Find some GNU make tips at:            
 "Please remain calm...I may be mad, but I am a professional." --Mad Scientist

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