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From Jason_Henrik...@providian.com
Subject RE: if and unless attributes for all Tasks
Date Tue, 15 May 2001 23:27:25 GMT




>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.

I think what Jesse was saying  (At least, what I so strongly agreed with)
is that XML is not a good language for doing if/checks and what not.  If
you
need to do logic, even simple logic, you're better off to write a task in
Java and have
all of the power that a real procedural/OO language can give you or use
different build scripts.

Instead, we should keep ANT in a make style of dependencies and make things
as simple and approachable as
possible.  ANT dependencies are hard enough to wade through if you're new
to a large build.xml.  As you add
more and more control structures, ANT becomes decreasingly accessible and
then losses what I consider to be
a big part of it's value.


                                              Jason Henriksen







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