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                                  A     N     T
   What is it? 
   Ant is a Java based build tool. In theory it is kind of like "make" 
   without makes wrinkles and with the full portability of pure java code.
   Why another build tool when there is already make, gnumake, nmake, jam, 
   and others? Because all of those tools have limitations that its original 
   author couldn't live with when developing software across multiple platforms. 
   Make-like tools are inherently shell based. They evaluate a set of 
   dependencies and then execute commands not unlike what you would issue on a 
   shell. This means that you can easily extend these tools by using or writing 
   any program for the OS that you are working on. However, this also means that 
   you limit yourself to the OS, or at least the OS type such as Unix, that you 
   are working on.
   Makefiles are inherently evil as well. Anybody who has worked on them for any 
   time has run into the dreaded tab problem. "Is my command not executing 
   because I have a space in front of my tab!!!" said the original author of Ant 
   way too many times. Tools like Jam took care of this to a great degree, but 
   still use yet another format to use and remember.
   Ant is different. Instead a model where it is extended with shell based 
   commands, it is extended using Java classes. Instead of writing shell 
   commands, the configuration files are XML based calling out a target tree 
   where various tasks get executed. Each task is run by an object which 
   implements a particular Task interface.
   Granted, this removes some of the expressive power that is inherent by being 
   able to construct a shell command such as `find . -name foo -exec rm {}` but 
   it gives you the ability to be cross platform. To work anywhere and 
   everywhere. And hey, if you really need to execute a shell command, Ant has 
   an exec rule that allows different commands to be executed based on the OS 
   that it is executing on.
   The Latest Version
   Details of the latest version can be found on the Apache Ant
   Project web site .
   Documentation is available in HTML format, in the docs/ directory.
   For information about building and installing Ant, see
   This software is licensed under the terms you may find in the file 
   named "LICENSE" in this directory.
   Thanks for using Ant.
                                           The Apache Ant Project

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