Last update : 26 November 2013
Today Apache Ant is the build tool of choice for a lot of java projects because the classical “make” buildtools like make, gnumake, nmake, jam and others have a lot of wrinkles and limitations.
According to Ant’s original author, James Duncan Davidson, the name Ant is an acronym for “Another Neat Tool”. Later explanations go along the lines of “ants do an extremely good job at building things”, or “ants are very small and can carry a weight dozens of times their own” – describing what Ant is intended to be. The latest version of Apache Ant is 1.9.2, released July 12, 2013.
Apache Ant uses XML to describe the build process and its dependencies, the corresponding file is named by default build.xml.
Ant can be integrated in the universal tool platform Eclipse and in other Integrated Development Environments (IDE).