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From Tim Vernum <>
Subject RE: PATCH: Attributes of Target can reference properties
Date Thu, 05 Jul 2001 06:28:58 GMT
> (...putting flame-proof boots on...)

Darn it!
It's not fun then :)

> once you go down the road of introducing features that more 
> right belong 
> in scripting languages, where are you going to stop?

Without actually wanting to debate your conclusion, I don't
necessarily agree with your assumptions.

"features that more right[ly] belong in scripting languages,"

This assumes some or all of the following:

 * Build processing is not/should not be a script-driven process

   People suggest that Ant should be purely declarative, and
   not handle scripting.
   Sometime I get the impression that they believe that build
   processing has nothing to do with scripting.

 * There is a set of build processes that require scripting, 
   but Ant does not attempt to support them.

   Alternatively, builds may need scripting, but that's not
   something ant wants to participate in.

 * Ant is not and should not be a "scripting language"

   I mostly agree with this, but I don't think it is a forgone
   conclusion. Scripting is not evil, and if build processing
   requires scripting, then they may be use for it *in*
   To some exent this is what Peter V is requesting, he probably
   accepts that "foreach" leads to scripting, but he believes
   that scripting is a necessary part of the the build process.

 * Scripting in/with/for ant should be separate from the build
   process within the ant core.

   Some suggestion XSLT, some suggest <script>, some suggest
    another form of templating.
   I did raise an Ant2 requirement that Build Files should be
    able to be dynamically created, so I guess I fall into
    the last group.

> that way you can use a proper, fully functional scripting 
> language such as 
> velocity to design your templates. when you run the main 
> build script, use 
> (for example) the texen task to generate your specialized 
> build script 
> from your template and run the generated script all from within ant.

Right now, ant1 doesn't do this cleanly enough.
In (GNU)make, you can make Makefile includes, dependant on something else,
so that you can regenerate it (relatively) cleanly.
Ant doesn't currently support this, so you have to wrap ant in another
tool, and then you have to handle the ant options etc.
It's possible, but it should be easier (and I hope that Ant2 will be).

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