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From "Tim Dawson" <>
Subject Ant 1.9 actionlist & Selector API
Date Mon, 21 Jan 2002 21:37:32 GMT
I apologize in advance if this is a duplicate send or the topic has
otherwise been discussed in the last week. I recently switched email
accounts and hadn't remembered to re-subscribe under the new address. states:

The selector API is one such mechanism to do this. The selector API will
allow you to build file sets based on criteria other than name. Some
possible criteria would be
*	Is the file readable?
*	Is the file writeable?
*	What date was the file modified on?
*	What size is the file?
*	Does the contents contain the string "magic"?

If we end up supporting a VFS then we could expand the number of selectors
considerably. A mock representation that has been proposed before is the
following. Of course this is subject to change as soon as someone wants to
tackle this action ;)

   <selector type="name" value="**/*.java"/>
   <selector type="permission" value="r"/>

   <!-- could optionally be directory/or some other system specific
features -->
   <selector type="type" value="file"/>
   <selector type="modify-time"
             value="29th Feb 2003"/>


I've spent a bit of time thinking about this, and about the best I can come
up with is that we need a more pluggable architecture than the
representation above. With the javabeans approach, wouldn't it be possible
to just to define an abstract superclass that <include> and <exclude> could
accept with an "addFileSelector" type of argument? Then we could have things

<fileset id="foo">
    <dir name="/projects/myproj/src"/>
    <file dir="/projects/myproj/src" name="/>
    <file src="/projects/myproj/include.files"/>
    <remote url=""/>
    <modtime after="29th Feb 2003"/>
    <modtime before="yesterday"/>
    <permission value="r"/>

<fileset refid="foo"/>

Each implementor of FileSelector could determine whether an "includesfile"
was appropriate; in this case, <file src=""/> would be similar to our
current <fileset includesfile=""/> (or for that matter, excludesfile)

Each implementor of FileSelector would be able to define specific attributes
that needed to be set -- no generic "operation", "value" attributes that
make sense for one selector type but not another. This would also greatly
simplify extending and providing your own custom file selector - just
subclass FileSelector, add the task definition to your build file, and away
you go -- the ant execution engine should take care of the rest.

Each implementor of FileSelector would be responsible for returning an array
or list of File objects, or even InputStream objects the latter might help
in the quest for a VFS.


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