Downloaded the current version of Ant. Checked the script used to launch Ant - and found the script run every time I type ‘ant’ at command line is 326 lines long! Right.

Here is the entire script I need to run Ant (on Linux).

ANT_HOME="/home/preston/tools/apache-ant-1.7.0"
java -classpath "$ANT_HOME/lib/ant-launcher.jar" org.apache.tools.ant.launch.Launcher $*

That is all. If I need more, I can alter the script. Altering the script - for a programmer - should be at least as easy as figuring out all the curious behaviours in the supplied startup script.

Here is the entire script I need to run Ant (on Windows).

@echo off
@setlocal

set JAVA_HOME=c:\tools\jdk1.5.0_10
set ANT_HOME=c:\tools\apache-ant-1.7.0

"%JAVA_HOME%\bin\java.exe" -classpath "%ANT_HOME%\lib\ant-launcher.jar" org.apache.tools.ant.launch.Launcher %*

There is one systemic fault that seems to affect all Apache and similarly organized projects. Products of those projects tend to get fat. Notions that are only slightly useful get stuffed into the code, and usually no one is brave enough to trim out the excess. Over time this makes the code harder to understand, steadily slower and fatter when run, and more likely to exhibit unintended side effects when changed.

Minimalism has no place is design-by-committee.