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OPTIONAL TASKS IN ACTION
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Capturing build information for application use By using a combination of the <property> and <propertyfile> tasks we capture the build date, time, machine name, user, and operating system into a properties file, which we later incorporate into our projects distributable. Listing 10.1 illustrates the build file pieces used to build the dynamic properties file.
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Listing 10.1 Using <propertyfile> to capture build-time information
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<property environment="env"/> <property name="env.COMPUTERNAME" value="${env.HOSTNAME}"/> <propertyfile comment="Build Information" file="${build.classes.dir}/build.properties"> <entry key="build.date" type="date" pattern="EEEE MMM dd, yyyy" value="now"/> <entry key="build.time" type="date" pattern="kk:mm:ss" value="now"/> <entry key="build.host" value="${env.COMPUTERNAME}"/> <entry key="build.user.name" value="${user.name}"/> <entry key="build.os.name" value="${os.name}"/> </propertyfile>
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The <propertyfile> task, somewhat misleadingly, does not actually set any Ant properties. It creates or updates a properties file. To load those properties as Ant prop.. erties you need to use <property file="."/> afterwards, perhaps using its prefix attribute to keep from clashing with already existing properties.
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Here s how to ensure getting the hostname (or computer name) across many platforms:
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<property environment="env"/> <property name="env.COMPUTERNAME" value="${env.HOSTNAME}"/>
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This works in both standard Windows and Linux environments and provides the machine name as ${env.COMPUTERNAME}. It works because of the immutability of properties. Loading the environment variables on a Linux machine would not pick up an env.COMPUTERNAME property, and it will be set on the property assignment. On a Windows machine, env.COMPUTERNAME would be set from the environment variables and the following assignment would be ignored. If you d rather have the property named env.HOSTNAME, just switch the order of the two properties on the second line.
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CHAPTER 1 0
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BEYOND ANT S CORE TASKS
Incrementing build number and setting expiration date Capturing build time information is one thing you can do with <propertyfile>, but it can do more. The <propertyfile> task can also be used to increment numbers and dates. Ant includes a built-in <buildnumber> task to accomplish the same thing, only more concisely. In listing 10.2, we use both tasks to create/update a properties file at build-time, which not only stores the build number, but also an expiration date that our software could use to restrict the life of a demo version, for example.
Listing 10.2 Build file segment showing how to increment build numbers and perform a date operation
<property name="metadata.dir" location="metadata"/> <property name="buildprops.file" location="${metadata.dir}/build.properties"/> <property name="buildnum.file" location="${metadata.dir}/build.number"/> <buildnumber file="${buildnum.file}"/> <echo message="Build Number: ${build.number}"/> <delete file="${buildprops.file}"/> <propertyfile comment="Build Information" file="${buildprops.file}"> <entry key="build.number" value="${build.number}"/> <entry key="expiration.date" type="date" operation="+" value="1" default="now" unit="month" /> </propertyfile>
Increments and stores into build.number
Writes build number
Generates a date one month from today
The <entry> element of the <propertyfile> task has several attributes that work in conjunction with one another. The type attribute allows for int, date, or the default string. The operation attribute is either +, -, or the default of =. Date types support a unit attribute and a special default of now. Refer to the documentation for more coverage of the <entry> attributes. Existing property files are not completely overwritten by the <propertyfile> task, as <propertyfile> is designed to edit them, leaving existing properties untouched unless modified explicitly with an <entry> item. Comments, however, get lost in the process. 10.2.2 Adding audio and visual feedback during a build We cannot help but mention two interesting optional tasks, <sound> and <splash>. The <sound> task is a fun addition to a build file and it could be useful when running an involved build process. The <sound> task enables audible alerts 239
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when a build completes; even different sounds, depending on build success or failure. The <splash> task displays a graphic during the build, providing eye candy but also the ability to personalize or brand a build. Ding, your build is done! Listing 10.3 demonstrates an example use of the <sound> task.
Listing 10.3 Using the <sound> task to alert on build success or failure
<project name="Sound" default="all"> <property file="build.properties"/> <target name="init"> <sound> <success source="${sound.dir}/success.wav" duration="500"/> <fail source="${sound.dir}/fail.wav" loops="2"/> </sound> </target> <target name="fail" depends="init"> <fail/> </target> <target name="success" depends="init"/> <target name="all" depends="success"/> </project>
A couple of bells and whistles about <sound> are the duration and loops attributes. If source is a directory rather than a file, a file is randomly picked from that directory. When the build completes, either the <success> or <fail> sound is played based on the build status. Any sound file format that the Java Media Framework recognizes will work with <sound>, such as WAV and AIFF formats. Java 1.3 or the JMF add-on is a <sound> dependency requirement. A picture is worth a thousand words The new Ant 1.5 <splash> task displays either the Ant logo or an image of your choosing while the build is running. As the build runs, a progress bar across the bottom moves along with every event, such as a tasks starting and finishing (build events are covered in chapter 21 in detail). Figure 10.1 shows an example of using a custom graphic.
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