Programming and writing about it.

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Exploring the Ant build script in NetBeans

After importing my manually coded build.xml into NetBeans, I opened it to view it in the wonderful XML editor:

Looking towards the left bottom, i notice the XML view of the build script:

You may also run any of the Ant targets by a Right-click->Run Target:



Java Free-Form Project in NetBeans

Say, you got a small scale Java project and use Ant for your build purposes. Thus, you have the Java classes and you have the ‘build.xml’ file. Now, as the project size increases you feel that you need a IDE to take care of the project build and other logistics. I shall show you how you can do that using the “Java Free-Form Project” feature in NetBeans 6.1 Beta


  • NetBeans 6.1 Beta
  • JDK 1.6
  • Create a “New Project” and choose “Java Free-Form Project”

  • Select the directory where you existing project lives and point to the ‘build.xml’ and fill up other details:

  • Map the project actions to targets in your Ant build.xml file:

  • Choose your source folder:

  • Your project structure is now ready and you can continue using them from the IDE itself

Hope that helps!