Prashant Deva's blog

Talks on technology and the latest developments in Placid Systems.

The making of Virtual Ant

Thursday, November 30, 2006

When the first time I wrote an ant build script for ANTLR Studio, it was extremely frustrating.

I had to look into all these manuals and and all the descriptions of all these tasks and attributes.

And all the time I was thinking, oh god, all i want to do is right click on this folder and select the 'Add to Archive' button but I need to learn these tons of commands for that. And not only that I even had to go back and debug the file after I had created it to get it working properly.

This was for the first release of ANTLR Studio. For the next update, I needed to make some slight modifications to the build process. So, I went ahead opened my build script to edit some stuff, and my gosh, i couldnt make out a thing i had written a week ago. I had to sit with manuals and the eclispe ant debugger for hours before I could get the whole thing back in my brain. Of course, making the actual changes took even more time.

My whole experience with ant build scripts reminded me of the old days of DOS and command lines where you had to learn each command, and simple things like moving files around and archiving needed quite some expertise.

Thus after completing ANTLR Studio, I set out to design a system that would be as easy to use as Windows Explorer and would allow me to perform all the operations on it with the same kind of functionality that Ant allows. Something that wouldnt require me to look into manuals or go about debugging any scripts.

After a lot of trials and errors, the result of is Virtual Ant. This is by far the easiest and most intuitive system ever designed where you can create your build scripts. A lot of care has gone into it so that you can create highly complex build scripts even as a non-programmer and not knowing even a bit of xml.

I believe that software development has seen the lowest amount of innovation since the dawn of computer science. You still code with basically the same tools as those available 10 years ago. Virtual Ant is the beginning in the next generation of truly revolutionary development tools that you will be seeing coming out of Placid.


posted by Prashant Deva, 4:50 PM | link | 6 comments |  

New (smaller) Virtual Ant video

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I have created a new demonstration video for Virtual Ant.
This one is much smaller , only about 4 mins, compared to the previous one (25 mins).

Although it is not as detailed as the previous one, this should still give you enough info to give you an idea of how Virtual Ant works.
posted by Prashant Deva, 9:07 AM | link | 0 comments |  

Announcing Virtual Ant !

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Today I am announcing a revolutionary new product called Virtual Ant, a tool for creating and editing Ant build scripts.

Till now all the tools and so called IDEs for creating build scripts are basically enhanced xml editors with syntax highlighting. They do not make it any easier to create build scripts at all.

With Virtual Ant, we are gonna change how you create and edit build scripts for ever! No longer do you need to look into any manuals or in fact need to know any programming at all. You just work like you do everyday in Windows Explorer.

We also got some cool wallpapers to decorate your desktop!

I would love to get your feedback on this, so keep it coming :)

Labels: ,

posted by Prashant Deva, 12:53 PM | link | 1 comments |  

No more registrations required

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Registrations are no longer required to download an evaluation license for ANTLR Studio.

Enjoy :)
posted by Prashant Deva, 12:00 PM | link | 0 comments |