Build scripts

There seems to be some general perception, at least among Java programmers. that build scripts are scary and/or too tedious to write for yourself. I conjecture that there are two classes of people who feel this – those who have been put off by make, and those who have been put off by overuse of IDEs and feel that anything the IDE controls so completely must be hard work to do by hand.

I was certainly in the latter camp for a while, and even once I realised that build scripts weren’t scary I still thought they were hard work. I finally got around to writing my first ant script earlier (and, for bonus points, my first ant awful hack), and they’re really surprisingly easy. There’s almost nothing to it.

I really don’t know why we’re so dependent on the IDE for our build process at work. Life would be a lot simpler if we weren’t.

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