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From Glenn McAllister <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] vote on general direction, details will be discussed later
Date Mon, 26 Mar 2001 14:39:21 GMT
Stefan Bodewig wrote:

> Glenn McAllister <> wrote:
> >> * It should be possible to modify details of the actual build
> >>   (e.g. classpath, used compiler) without the need to change the
> >>   build specification.
> >
> > Isn't this covered by "provide support for user defined task
> > configurations?"
> Nope, one it talking about setting attribute, that have not been
> specified, the other one is overruling attributes, even if they have
> been specified.

Ah, got it.  Thanks.

> Say we'd add an "impl" attribute to <javac> to chose the compiler,
> this one is arguing for build.compiler to take precedence over the
> attributes value - or at least to provide some means to get
> precedence, like in the build.sysclasspath case.

Hmm... I like the idea in general, but I'm curious as to how we will
implement it, given another principle we have all agreed on is to try
and remove magic properties.  And yes, I realize we are not discussing
implemenation here.  I just wanted to mention it as this point may come
into conflict with other points we've agreed on.

> >> * build files should be declarative in nature
> >
> > +1 if we could ever agree on exactly what "declarative" means. :-]
> Having studied physics and not computer science it is amusing to
> follow the discussion - in physics somebody would have provided a
> reference to some well known standard definition of each and every
> term (not that this would make discussion any easier ;-).
> Stefan

I can't seem to find any exact definition of the term from a CS point of
view that everyone agrees is authoratative.  Nonetheless, everyone does
seem to agree that declarative languages focus on defining the goal, or
the logic behind what you are trying to accomplish, and not on how you
get to the goal, or the necessary flow of control.

My $0.02.


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