Ant is becoming increasingly widely used as a build and deploy tool for
Java applications. This chapter is about how I am using Ant in this
tutorial. It is nothing particular to do with Jini. This chapter can be skipped
until you start building and deploying examples from this book.
Applications consisting of multiple source benefit from having some
build tool to automate compilation, deployment, testing, etc.
Many of these tools are operating system specific such as
make (although Windows versions now exist).
Ant has become an increasingly popular tool for Java applications
since it has cross-platform support and ant build files can be
written in an O/S independant way.
This tutorial is being adapted to use ant instead
of make and Unix shell scripts. This chapter is
about the use of ant for this tutorial. It is not
about Jini at all, so unless you want to see how the applications
are currently built, skip past this chapter. Individual build
files for each project will be given in the relevant chapters.
Toplevel build file
There are two general parameters that need to be set for your own
These are defined in the build.xml in the
tutorial's root directory.
jini.home - the pathname to where Jini
has been unpacked. This is used to define the
jini.jars variable which contains the
standard Jini class files
localhost - the IP address or hostname of the
current machine. In my testing, I run basic tests from this
Similar to many projects, we adopt the following directory structure
These are all defined in the build.xml file in the
tutorial's root directory.
src - the directory for all source files
build - where all class files are built
dist - where distribution files such as
jar files are created
resources - where things like policy files
and configuration files are kept
httpd.classes - this is non-standard, but is where
we need to copy files so that an HTTP server can find them
The following targets are defined
compile - compile all source files
dist - build the distribution, typically jar files
build - compile and distribute (redundant)
deploy - copy files to their destination, typically
some jar files to an HTTP server
clean - remove all class files, jar files and
run -DrunFile=... - run a project
usage - print a list of options
The toplevel file build.xml defines these targets.
The main function of each target is to run the target again in each of
the projects. So compile runs compile
in each project; deploy runs deploy
in each project; whereas run calls run
only in the selected project. The projects are each defined in an Ant file
in the antBuildFiles directory.
The build.xml file is
Each project is defined in an Ant file in the antBuildFiles
directory. The purpose is to implement the toplevel build targets for each
project. Each of these project files inherits values from the toplevel file,
Each project uses only a small number of the files from the
src directory. These are defined in the
src.files variable. For example, for the
complete.FileClassifierServer project discussed
in the chapter "A Simple Example" the source files are defined by
Since Jini is a distributed system, not all class files are required by
all components. Typically a server will require some files whereas a
client will require others. These are defined by two further variables
<!-- Class files to run the server -->
<!-- Class files for the client to download --->
The rest of each project file is fairly straightforward. The
compile target compiles all files in the
src.files list; the dist
target builds jar files: usually two of them, one for the server
and one for the client; the deploy target copies
the jar files for the client to an HTTP server; the run
target starts a JVM with appropriate parameters. Note that the JVM must be
started as a separate VM as it sets a security policy (discussed later)
which cannot be done within an already running Ant JVM.
The complete project file for complete.FileClassifierServer
is in the file complete.FileClassifierServer.xml:
If you found this chapter of value, the full book
"Foundations of Jini 2 Programming"
is available from
This file is Copyright (©) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
by Jan Newmarch
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License, the replacement for the earlier Open Content License.