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Apache Jakarta and Beyond: A Java Programmer’s Introduction by Larne Pekowsky

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Chapter 2. Ant

The process by which a collection of files is turned into a running program or deployable Web application can be surprisingly complex. Java files must be compiled into class files, but typically this is just one step in a much more involved process. Prior to compilation, Java files may need to be retrieved from a remote location or generated based on some set of rules. Following compilation, code may need to be tested, and following testing, the classes and auxiliary resources may need to be packaged into jar or war (Web application resource) files. The complete set of actions that must be performed, and the dependencies between them, is called the build process.

Unix-like operating systems have for some time had a tool called “make” ...

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