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Home » Tip Bank » XML
Language: XML
Expertise: Advanced
Jul 19, 2004

Generate a Graph of Your Ant File Targets with Vizant

When you're dealing with huge Ant files, it can be difficult to follow targets and their dependencies. Luckily, there's a tool called Vizant that can generate a graph of your Ant file targets. You simply specify the name of your Ant file, and voila—Vizant generates the graph for you.

Here is an example of a Vizant file:

<project name="vizfile" default="main">
<taskdef name="vizant" classname="net.sourceforge.vizant.Vizant" classpath="C:/Java/vizant-
<target name="main">
<vizant antfile="./build.xml" outfile="build.dot">
<attrstmt type="graph"> <!-- make graph larger -->
<attr name="ranksep" value="1.2"/>
<attr name="nodesep" value="0.5"/>
<exec executable="dot" ><arg line="-Tjpg build.dot -o build.jpg"/></exec>
Assume your Ant build file is build.xml in the same path as this file. The above file defines a task called vizant, that is loaded from the specified class in the vizant.jar file. This file is run by executing the target main which generates the graph in build.jpg.
Puneet M. Sangal
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