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Subject Namespaces in ant ( was Re: Ant 2 et al.)
Date Tue, 09 Jul 2002 23:43:39 GMT
On Tue, 9 Jul 2002, Yyy Xxx wrote:

> Using a colon for non-namespace purposes is simply bad
> XML.

And with a simple config setting it is possible to use either
SAX1 or SAX2 ( so even if some bad XML with : is used, it'll
still work ).

> I'd like to know what "namespace support"
> means to Ant before its added.  However, I don't think

Same for me :-)

At the moment using ProjectHelper2 it is possible to use
SAX2 and namespaces. However there is no special meaning 
attached to the namespace.

One first step would be to define the namespace for the
core elements, and decide what to do about optional
elements. My current opinion is that each 'tag library' 
should use one namespace, and to somehow use 'meaningfull'
namespaces - but there are many choices here.

So far I am convinced that we need an association between 
class loaders and namespaces - for example an extra 
attribute on the <classpathpath> to specify that it 
must be associated with a particular namespace. That
would allow automatic loading of tasks when a namespace
is used. 

I would also couple this with a discovery mechanism as 
specified in JDK1.3 services ( commons-discovery would make
it very easy, and it is already a common practice in many
projects ). 

The last 2 features would allow something like:
 <path id="" ... />
 <tlib1:task1 ns:tlib1="" />   
( aar is war with 'ant' instead of 'web' :-)

The first definition will associate the ns URL with a path,
and then task1 is located by using discovery on that path ( thus
getting the list of tasks defined in that loader ). Taskdef
is no longer used.

We can also use the ns URI to download the extensions automatically -
that would require ProjectHelper to somehow call jjar or 
a similar task. 

A big question for me is what to do about dynamic properties.
ProjectHelper supports ${ns:expression} - and I'm trying to
find a way to associate the 'ns' with a namespace and with
an expression evaluator ( and to find an API for the expression
evaluator - most likely BSF-like based on what I learned so far ).
Of course it would be nice to have the same mechanism for

BTW, all of this should work with ant1.5+ - eventually (after
those issues are solved) I'll propose this to be included
in ant1.6, but it can be a separate component as well.


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