Cover by Nicholas C. Zakas

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

O'Reilly logo

Chapter 14. Ant

The choice of a build tool is usually based on the tools familiar to the developers who will be using it. My personal favorite tool for JavaScript build systems is Ant. Ant was originally created as a build tool for Java projects, but its easy XML syntax and built-in tasks make it an excellent choice for JavaScript as well. In an informal survey I conducted prior to writing this book, Ant was by far the most frequently cited build tool used for JavaScript, despite the recent introduction of newer build tools. If you find that Ant doesn’t quite work for you, several alternatives are listed in Appendix B.

This book focuses on JavaScript build systems using Ant, but all of the tools and techniques discussed can be applied to other build systems as well.

Installation

Ant requires Java to run, so make sure that you have Java installed on your system. If you’re using Mac OS X, then Ant is already installed by default; for Ubuntu, run sudo apt-get install ant to install Ant. For other operating systems, following the instructions at http://ant.apache.org/manual/install.html.

The Build File

The main build file for Ant is build.xml. When Ant runs on the command line, it looks for this file in the current directory, so it’s best to place build.xml in the root directory of your project. You needn’t keep all of the build-related information in this file, but build.xml must be present for Ant to work.

As you might expect, build.xml is an XML file containing instructions on how to perform ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required