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From John Keyes <>
Subject Re: Death of a mutant ...
Date Thu, 11 Jul 2002 22:28:34 GMT
I know that it is not possible to get accurate metrics on
what versions of Java are being used.  But, it is very
important not to alienate a user base purely beacuse it
makes things easier for the developers.  Now, I do not
contribute to ant (but I do use it and have for the
past three years ;) so this is just an outsiders comment.

Support for 1.1 does not mean that future development must
suffer because of it.  It would be very easy to branch
development for the 1.1 support.  This would be treated as a
maintenance branch.  From lurking on the user and dev list
for ages, I have never seen a user request to fix something
because it is broken when using a 1.1 JVM.  So the amount
of development on the branch would be minimal (this is
just a hunch not fact;).  This would obviously require someone
to take leadership of the branch but it would provide the
1.1 users with an 'Ant story' and would also allow
(r)evolution of the Ant core for future releases.

-John K

On Thursday, July 11, 2002, at 09:17 , Patrick (Gus) Heck wrote:

>> There is a limit to wrapping. My goal is not to create a wrapper for 
>> each
>> thing that is worth it and end up with a copy of the JDK 1.2+ in the 
>> Ant
>> repository. To be clear for reading the implementation version of a 
>> package
>> I prefer to use the JDK 1.2 method and do it by reflection rather than
>> creating hundred lines of code that does the same thing and that wiill 
>> be
>> used by maybe one lost person with JDK 1.1 among 100,000 users.
>> As you  agreed earlier, the less code we have the better we feel.
>>> Well, if everyone else feels 1.1 shouldn't be supported - it only 
>>> takes
>>> a vote to remove that requirement. Even for 1.6 - the commiters set
>>> the rules. I won't -1 it.
> I have never quite understood the need to make ant run under 1.1. I 
> certainly think one should be able to write things that target a 1.1 
> platform, and use ant to build them, but why are we so worried about 
> allowing people to develop stuff in an outdated environment? Yeah 
> someone here said their zarus only had 1.1 but is building with ant on 
> a zarus really valuable, or just kinda neat to do? Wouldn't it be 
> better to build for the zarus on your dual Athlon MP machine? What 
> environments don't have a 1.2+ compiler available for people to build 
> thier ant with that are really important _development_ platforms?
> I also have been wondering recently what it is that ant defines as out 
> of scope. I am currently using it to "build" a website from a cvs 
> repository on a regular basis. The website has lots of code on it that 
> also gets built so this is convenient, but I kinda wonder if it isn't 
> stretching the purpose of Ant.
> A specialized tool is usually much more efficient than a generalized 
> tool, but it does fewer things. Swiss Army knives are really nice when 
> you don't know what you will need, but a real philips screwdriver, or a 
> power screwdriver is more efficient for driving philips head screws 
> because it doesn't try to include can-opener and whittling 
> functionality too.
> Gus
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