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Just for some context, Ant was originally used just because that was what we were used to in college. Ant is a pretty miserable tool I feel now, and quickly discovered back then (very hard to do anything imperative and writing plugins for new features is no walk in the park either). We later went to rake because (some people forget this now), but you couldn't really use JavaScript on the terminal in any practical way (Rhino was the only real option) -- and had you been able to there certainly did not exist a build system. Rake made the most sense to me back then, and I still really like that build system. Once we had a way to realistically run JS on the terminal (at a decent speed by getting JSC working), we literally did a line by line port of Rake -- so none of the existing build system had to be rebuilt, it just got faster and was able to interact with all the existing libraries for free. The reality of today is that everyone has node.js, if they have any sort of JS environment installed, so that is their desire to move to node.js. Now, I would be of the position of just doing the bare minimum to get the existing build system working on node as opposed to some from-scratch rewrite, but that is their prerogative. Regardless, this was not just moving to what was "hot" at the time.

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