Antelope is a graphical user interface for running Ant
. Antelope is a mature application that is in wide use as a front end to Apache Ant. Antelope provides a set of buttons, one per target, which makes it easy to start a specific Ant operation. Basically, an Ant build file is opened with Antelope and the targets defined in the build file can be executed by clicking a button. Antelope is much more than a thin wrapper around Ant, however.
Antelope can run in two different environments. It can run as a stand-alone GUI application and as a plugin to jEdit (www.jedit.org), an excellent open source editor for programmers.
As a stand-alone application, Antelope provides the ability to create and edit Ant build files, the ability to run build file targets, and can trace target and task execution in a quasi-debug mode. Output from the build process can be captured to a file and/or to screen and performance statistics can be gathered to guide optimization efforts. Several very useful tasks to extend Ant are included.
As a jEdit plugin, Antelope expands the features of the stand-alone application to nicely integrate with the text editor and with the Console and ErrorList plugins. Antelope has an open API that allows other plugins to utilize Antelope's capabilities.
In either mode, Antelope provides property and reference inspection and the ability to set properties that would be passed as parameters to Ant on the command line.
The Antelope Project also provides a set of additional tasks that provide functionality not found in the standard tasks distributed with Ant. Work is underway to merge the Antelope tasks with the AntContrib project.
The full Antelope user manual is here.
- Stand-alone application or tight integration with jEdit.
- Compatible with Ant 1.5, 1.6, and 1.7, including full support for XML entity includes and the <import> task.
- Run single or multiple targets with one click.
- Build progress indicator shows both the progress of the build and the currently executing target.
- Edit mode uses JTree for rapid location of targets and tasks, click on a target in the tree and have the editor automatically scroll to that point in the build file. Works on any XML file, not just build files.
- Web-browser-like "back" and "forward" buttons in Edit mode make moving around in the build file easy.
- Ability to set user defined properties via a graphical interface.
- Full access to properties and references.
- "Trace" mode provides the ability to run a build without actually doing anything, making it possible to check property values and execution flow prior to running a live build.
- Adjustable message level and build progress verbosity for build output, plus the ability to save build output to a file.
- Show or hide targets based on several popular target naming schemes.
- All settings are stored per build file.
- Built-in GUI support for the <input> task.
- Special performance listener provides performance profiling to help pinpoint bottlenecks in the build process.
- While not intended to be a full-featured text editor, Antelope is a very usable XML file editor. It provides several features found in more advanced editors such as font control and syntax highlighting.
- Apache Ant is a Java-based build tool. In theory, it is kind of like Make, but without Make's wrinkles. It has become the standard application for building Java applications.
- jEdit is a mature and well-designed programmer's text editor that has been in development for over 5 years.
- The Ant-Contrib project is a collection of tasks (and at one point maybe types and other tools) for Apache Ant. Some of the Antelope tasks are now part of that project.