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Breaking Down an AntInstaller Script Set

AntInstaller (as the name suggests) uses Ant technology. This means that you must organize your AntInstaller-based installer as a set of scripts that contain targets. The best way to think of an Ant target is as a method call.

The install proceeds by executing your targets in turn until the build (or the installation) is complete. The scripts for the installer shown in Figures 1 through 9 consist of two files in the demo\installer folder.

These two files are called the following:

  • antinstall-config.xml
  • build.xml

Listing 1 illustrates part of the very first page of the installation (as shown in Figure 2).

Listing 1 The start of the installation

<page
   type="input"
   name="intro"
   displayText="Welcome to the example installer program"
   imageResource="/resources/greens.png">
   <comment
     displayText="This is a demo install"
        title="true"/>
   <comment
     displayText="The application installed is yer typical Hello World"
        bold="true"/>
   <comment
     displayText="There is not much more to be said really."/>
</page>

Comparing the contents of Listing 1 with Figure 2 is useful because it begins to show the power of AntInstaller in controlling the installation and directing the graphical content. Remember, no Java code (or any other language beyond scripting) is required.

The fact that this technology uses Ant scripting makes it fairly easy to learn. Even if you don’t know Ant, using AntInstaller could conceivably help you learn it.

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