Here’s a crazy idea I had yesterday: poor mans dependency management for your Android ant (and Eclipse) builds.
I could of course use maven, but I don’t. TL;DR; I think it’s too much hassle for my Android projects. I pull in library projects from source using mercurials’ subrepository feature and check the libs folder in to source control.

Anyway, I do like the dependency management part of a maven build, although I also might have some local dependencies that I just want to stick in my project and check in. So the idea was to hook in some form of dependency management into the normal Android ant build. Another requirement is that it should work fine with ADT. What I’ve come up with in the last few hours is here: https://bitbucket.org/hvisser/android-ant-dependencies¬†and here on github: a build file that you can include into your normal ant.xml.

It uses the maven tasks for ant to manage dependencies. What this build file does for you when you execute “ant copy-dependencies” is manage the dependencies in the “libs” folder of your project. If you have non-managed jars, you just stick those in the “extra” folder. It will also extract library projects, apklibs, to a separate folder so you can include those as library project in Eclipse. Finally, it will copy over android-support-v4.jar to those library project, to make sure you are using the same version in all projects (the Android ant build and ADT check for that).

When setup, you can ignore the libs folder in your favorite version control system and on check out you just to a “ant copy-dependencies”, import the library projects and off you go.

Now I don’t know if I’m actually going to use this, but what do you think? Have I created a monster?

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