There is definately a group of people that are a bit sick of Ant. This is a general “I don’t want to code in XML” problem too. Some are making the leap to Maven, with all of its b# builds. Others are just going back to the basics.
“Java/Build version 0.01
In my shop, we grew tired of using Ant for builds. We wanted to script,
and as the O’Reilly book on the subject points out at length, Ant is not
a scripting language. We wanted variables, loops, conditionals, and
subroutines, to name a few things. Eventually we decided to move to a
Perl based build system. This is the result of that work.
Ant provides one essential feature:
It uses only one JVM
In our builds, this issue is only important for compiling. All of the
other tasks are uncommon enough that starting a new JVM for each one is
not prohibitively expensive. (It is possible to add to Java::Build::JVM to
use its JVM for additional tasks, but we haven’t needed to yet.)
By using Java::Build::JVM, you get one JVM which you can keep using
for compilation throughout your script.
Java::Build::Tasks provides some useful helper functions. None of them
are essential, but they seem to make our scripts easier to write and more
consistent. The tasks currently include: jar, signjar, read_prop_file,
update_prop_file, build_file_list, and what_needs_compiling (the later uses
time stamps to decide which class files are missing or stale).”