Try this little quiz. When was the last time you moved a file in Windows Explorer from one folder to another? What, you can't remember? But of course, who would remember such a trivial operation. Ok, try this one then. When was the last time you use an Ant or Maven script to do the same? You probably remember that one, don’t you ;)
Pretty much every development tool now days which claims to be 'easier to use' requires you to read a 300 page book first, thus defeating the whole purpose.
Virtual Ant was built right from the beginning so that users with no knowledge of build systems could pick it up and start creating complex build scripts within minutes. Our basic premise is that if you know how to use Windows Explorer then you should be able to create build scripts. We want creating build scripts for software something you dont even have to think twice about, the same way you dont plan or put much thought in moving a file in Windows Explorer.
We know that there are a lot of existing build scripts out there and developers would be reluctant to switch to a completely new system. Thus we chose the most popular build tool in Java world, Apache Ant, and built our system on top of it. The result of this is that you don’t have to make changes to your existing build scripts and you can open them in Virtual Ant and become instantly super productive. The compatibility with Apache Ant also means that in the worst case, even if some team member does not have a copy of Virtual Ant, he can go back to editing build scripts the way he currently does, using an xml editor.
Being a completely visual environment, you can easily share scripts with fellow developers who can easily see what is going on in the script and make changes to the script. No longer does one have to wade through tons of XML which can take days or even weeks to figure out fully.
The Virtual File System allows you to play around with your files in a way never before imagined. You can do whatever you want with it without ever affecting your real file system. Such a capability allows you and your team mates to experiment more with the build script without the dangers of ever harming your real files. The instant visual feedback of the Virtual File System even makes the task of creating build scripts fun!