Prashant Deva's blog

Talks on technology and the latest developments in Placid Systems.

Virtual Ant released!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The long, long wait is finally over. After almost 2 years in development, Virtual Ant is finally here.

This release marks the start of a new era for build tools. Gone are the days of struggling with lines of xml and 500 page manuals which took you weeks to write a single build script. With Virtual Ant, even a non programmer can create highly complex build scripts within minutes.

So for those who cant wait, here is the link to the download page.

Do check out some of the new videos we have added, to get a feel for all the new functionality.
As of writing this post, there are very few videos on the page but we will be adding a lot more of those and a lot more documentation as the week progresses.

There are a couple of issues regarding this release that I need to address -

IDE integration

As of writing this post IDE plugins are not available.
However, plugins for Eclipse, Intellij IDEA and Jetbrains are under development and will soon be available. And no, we wont be charging separately for the plugins.
IDE integration has been on my mind since the very first day development for Virtual Ant began, so rest assured we will do a great job on it.

Custom Tasks

As of this release, Virtual Ant does not support custom tasks.
However, very soon we will be coming out with a (free) GUI tool which will allow you to turn your custom tasks into 'virtual' tasks that can be run on Virtual Ant.
Yes, in our trademark style of simplicity we wont be bothering you with learning any new APIs to make virtual tasks, instead the GUI will allow you to convert your existing tasks into 'virtual' tasks within minutes.


posted by Prashant Deva, 1:22 PM


Where does it get the JAVA_HOME system properties from? I set my JAVA_HOME to a valid version of JDK but yet the Vitrual Ant picked up my installed JRE directory as JAVA_HOME.


commented by Jerry, 11:31 AM, October 24, 2007  

This really belongs in the discussion group or in a support email instead of this blog.

Anyway I have added this question and its answer in the faq.

I will paste the answer here too -

After clicking the 'Execute Script' button, click the 'Add Classpath' button in the dialog that pops up.
Add the location of 'tools.jar' file of your jdk to the classpath. Eg - C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.5.0_06\lib\tools.jar

Ater adding the classpath once, it will remain for the rest of that session until you close the Virtual Ant instance. This way you dont have to set it again each time you want to execute a script.

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