Ivy : Java Glossary

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Ivy logoIvy

At first I thought Ivy added GenJar-like abilities to ANT (A Neat Tool) to chase dependencies to figure out which class files need to be bundled in jars to do builds, but on second reading I don’t think it does. It just fetches the latest jars from Maven repositories. I suspect it thinks of dependecies on the jar level, not the class level. It produces dependency diagrams of which classes use which classes. For large projects, you can precompute dependencies of a class so they don’t have to be recomputed every time you use the class. It can find necessary modules in a Maven repostitory. There is also a plug-in called Apache IvyDE to build Ivy into the Eclipse IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Ivy downloads libraries for you from Maven repositories and keeps them in a cache, downloading them only when they change.

The big catch with tools like Ivy, Gradle and Maven is they are not concerned about deciding precisely which class files should go into a jar or even which packages should be included.  They look at a bigger picture, namely which entire jars need to be present (or bundled in). They are more concerned with dealing with the complexities of not only getting the right jar, but the right version of the jar. They are for big projects not creating an optimally packed jar for an Applet.

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