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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject Re: Ant 2 et al.
Date Tue, 09 Jul 2002 07:17:30 GMT
From: <>

> On Tue, 9 Jul 2002 wrote:
> A number of people ( usually those who -1 the adding of scripting 
> elements) believe ant should be more 'descriptive', and not 
> procedural. That's why it's called <project> - it is intended to
> describe the project, including how to build various components.

This is an interesting point, given that ANT does not have an specific 
concept of <component/> that for example could be describe generically
or be provided a particular set of properties for configuration.
The reality is that ANT only knows how to express flat targets
with a flat space for properties (i.e., configuration) and its dependencies.

I think that for very large or complex projects it becomes not easy or
maintainable to do it this way.

> Most people only 'describe' how to build and test it, and do that
> in a procedural way. That's where the need for <if>, <while>, etc comes 
> from, and that's why ant files become ugly and hard to understand.  

I agree with you that <while> is inheritely procedural (since it is based
on observing changes in the state of the while condition), but <if> and 
<for-each> are not inheritely procedural. I do not think you can consider
XSLT procedural and you have <choose> and <for-each> as well as
inmutable variables (just as in ANT).

Jose Alberto

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