Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Eclipse, Ivy, and Necessitas

Been looking into a nice way to track java JAR dependencies in our Eclipse projects at work. We have a great library sharing distribution mechanism in place, but no dependency management. You got to know if your project uses Lib A, and that Lib A needs Lib B; you gotta add Lib B to your project.

Found a nice java library called Ivy for managing your java dependencies using Ant. Really very nice. All types of ways to configure how libraries are retrieved and versioned, has caching so you don't download libraries over and over again unnecessarily. But what would be even better would be to use Ivy from Eclipse. And thats where Necessitas comes in. Its a nice plugin for Eclipse, put together by Kevin O'Neill, that allows you to use the Ivy dependency management but have all the libraries automatically added to your classpath and cached to your computer. Started using it; pretty nice. I'd like to contribute where I can, but its off to a great start. I'm looking more and more into the source of it, so maybe I can add a thing or two.

But I recommend if you are in software development and have libraries you reuse in multiple project, you should have some sort of dependency maangement. Because it can be hell to keep everything straight.


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