An Ant project consists of at least one Ant build script. Inside the Ant build script there will typically be some configuration of the project and some targets which perform part of the building of the project the Ant build script belongs to.
Remember, an Ant project is really just a software project (typically a Java project) that uses Ant as a build tool. The very same software project could also be built with Maven or Gradle.
An Ant build script can include or execute other Ant build scripts. Thus you can split your Ant project into multiple Ant build scripts. How this is done is explained in later texts in this tutorial.
The project Element
The root XML element of an Ant build script is the
project element. Here is an example Ant build script
containing just the
project element you can set a few attributes which impact the behaviour of your Ant build script.
These attributes will be covered in the following sections.
name attribute can be used to set the name of your project. The name is not necessarily used by
Ant, but it can be very helpful for developers reading your build script to know what project it belongs to.
Here is an example of setting the
name attribute of the
<project name="MyProject"> </project>
default attribute is used to specify what Ant target should be executed by default if no Ant target
is provided to Ant on the command line. When you run Ant without specifying a target to execute, Ant will execute
the default target. Here is an example
project element which contains a
<project name="MyProject" default="build"> <target name="build"> <echo>The default target</echo> </target> </project>
In this example the
default attribute contains the value
build. This means that the target
build is the default target. The example also contains a target named
build just so you can
see how the
default attribute value points to the name of the default target.
To run the default target you would use this command:
This will run Ant. Since no target name is specified as command line argument to the
Ant will execute the default target.
basedir attribute of the
project element can be used to specify what directory is
to be used as base directory when resolving relative file paths. Any relative file path specified inside your
Ant build script will be interpreted as being relative to the base directory. Here is an example
element with the
basedir attribute set:
<project name="MyProject" default="build" basedir="."> </project>
This example sets the
basedir attribute to
. . The
. means the same directory
as the build script is located in.
basedir is specified then Ant will use the root directory of the project, meaning the directory
where the Ant build script is located.