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From Peter Donald <>
Subject RE: [PATCH] Dynamic target
Date Fri, 03 Nov 2000 02:54:30 GMT
At 06:20  2/11/00 -0800, you wrote:
>I'm not sure what you mean by raising the stakes. I do agree that
>patternmatching/dynamic-whatever/etc. is advanced features. But just because
>there is advanced features doesn't necessarily mean you have to use them. It
>just means you have something to grow in. It's like saying Java is an
>immensely advanced language just because it contains EJB/Corba/RDBMS etc.
>etc. But this is just my 5c.

yup - but makefiles can be increably simple too - if you don't use the
advanced features .... but how many people don't use the advanced features ;) 

Ant is supposed to be something any joe sixpack can handle from web
designers to java programmers to assebly guys without having any large
learning curve.

>If the Vision (observe the capital V ;) of ant is that it should be kept
>simple, then I guess this definitely goes against that Vision and probably
>should need to be dropped. 

right. I think that is the case. Duncan (the original dev of ant) has just
come back and could probably give better answer but primarily ant wants to
be simple and easy to use.

>But, still, ant is growing, both in numbers of
>users, numbers of features, and lines of code. It is being used in contexts
>not thought about when initially developed. Definitely worth thinking about.

yep - currently I am using ant to build a cron-like system. Others are
using ant for installshield/rpm like purposes. I agree and am going to
propose (when I get the time) some changes to make it more widely usable.

>Keeping the design of software clean and simple is very sane. Just look at
>the sad story of C++.

or perl or make or ... ;)

>I'm not sure I would use the term yucky though, it simply just might be out
>of scope. Sad, I do consider such a feature to be useful.

Theres a lot of features that I woulf find useful in ant that are
unfortunately "yucky"/out of scope. One of them is templates/functions so
that you can "parametize" tasks. I recognize this will never make core (and
are thankful for that) but I guess eventually these features will be needed.



| "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want |
| to test a man's character, give him power."          |
|       -Abraham Lincoln                               |

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