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From Roger Vaughn <>
Subject RE: if and unless attributes for all Tasks
Date Tue, 15 May 2001 20:24:40 GMT
--- Jesse Tilly <> wrote:
> Am I the only person that thinks conditional flow
> control using XML is just
> a Bad Thing(tm)?  Flow control == processing and we
> already have excellent
> processing languages.

Build scripting is all ABOUT conditional processing -
i.e. "if source file A is newer than object file B,
compile source file A."

This low-level conditional checking is built into Ant
(and make) so that you don't have to see it - and that
is the primary advantage of build tools over scripting
tools - it simplifies the required instruction set.

This does not, however, eliminate the need for
conditionals at a higher level of abstraction.  Also,
I have several times had to use the uptodate task
paired with the if/unless conditions to achieve checks
that are *not* built into Ant - and this is
conceptually at the *same* level of abstraction of the
.java/.class checks.

So you don't need conditional checks in your scripts. 
How does that make them bad for everyone?  You have
not adequately justified your position.  Just because
you do not need the feature is no reason to cut the
rest of us off at the knees.  There are many cases
where this feature is indeed necessary - including the
script that builds Ant itself.

Live and let live.

Roger Vaughn

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