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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] don't include optional.jar in the system classpath
Date Wed, 14 Nov 2001 09:00:57 GMT
On 14 Nov 2001, Mike Williams <> wrote:

>   - Who should be in-control of the classpath for optional tasks:
>   the Ant user (who writes build.xml) or the Ant deployer?

Generally, the user is - simply remove optional.jar from ANT_HOME/lib.

>   - Why include the "optional" tasks on Ant's classpath, when they
>   won't work without additional setup?

This is for convenience - for most Ant users, this is what they want
as they have the library that is needed by an optional task in their
CLASSPATH anyway.  Some other optional tasks are optional because they
depend on JDK 1.2, which most people use today.

For all releases prior to Ant 1.4, we didn't include the optional.jar
in the distribution and many users complained that a given optional
task hasn't been found in their default installation (as they forgot
to download optional.jar).

We figured that it would be better to include it for most users to do
what we've done with the latest releases - this means, that users that
need more control over their classloaders (those, who know what they
do, I hope) will have to move optional.jar out of ANT_HOME/lib.

We may need to document this better than we currently do.


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