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From "Erik Hatcher" <>
Subject Re: Immutability
Date Fri, 07 Dec 2001 12:25:05 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stefan Bodewig" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 5:42 AM
Subject: Re: Immutability

> I have no idea why anybody would want to alter the value of an
> existing property with any of the tasks we have.  Except maybe, just
> because we provide no different way to do it.  If people do it, it
> shows that they have a use-case where they need to change a property's
> value.

I would argue that many of those need's that you mention are perhaps due to
lack of understanding in how Ant works and how to do things without the need
to overwrite properties.  But certainly I concur that it can be non-trivial
or confusing or ugly at best to accomplish some things because of working
around how Ant currently works.

> > Because it turns Ant into a procedural programming language rather
> > than a declarative one.
> This is the killall argument that gets us close to a an Ant version of
> Godwin's Law, I guess 8-)

I had to look this one up:'s-Law.html

No way am I bringing the "N" word into this discussion!  :))

> One can argue that building things *is* procedural in nature.  Ant
> tries to move all the procedural bits into the tasks and lets you
> declare the relations between these tasks.  My point is that enforcing
> property immutability makes some tasks that encapsulate procedural bits
> more or less unwritable.

Could you provide an example just so I have something more tangible to

As far as the <iterate> goes, perhaps we the Taglib analogy makes sense....
Struts has a <logic:iterate> tag that provides a scripting variable within
the scope of the begin and end tags.


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