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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject Re: About -projecthelp (was RE: cvs commit: jakarta-ant/src/main/org/apache/tools/ant/helper
Date Thu, 01 Aug 2002 20:09:04 GMT
From: "Dominique Devienne" <>

> I must be missing something...
> The -projecthelp switch of Ant and a dry run like (make -n) are two
> different things.

Very true.

> -projecthelp is supposed to give you a description of all
> the targets of the current build file. Why would you execute <ant> or
> <antcall>??? 

I am proposing <ant> and <antcall> to be executed by -dryrun, -projecthelp
is just suppose to use some of the functionality provided by the -dryrun infrastructure.

> The only thing that's needed is to parse all the build file
> (and included/imported build files), and list the public target names and
> descriptions. I'm not even sure one should allow properties expansion in the
> description attribute of target, and it's certainly not allowed in the name
> attribute of target.

But it is alllowed in the file attribute of <import>.

> There's no need to execute anything when a build file doesn't include/import
> any other build files, and when one does, only top-level <include>/<import>
> with properties related tags (<property> only, and maybe <propertyfile> as
> well) that come before them.

How about <condition> like in:

<condition property="ostype" value="unix">
  <ostype ...>
<property name="ostype" value="windoz">
<import file="${ostype}/osbuild.xml" />

> And I like the idea of Jose Alberto to define a small ProjectHelper for the
> specific purpose of implementing -projecthelp.
> In case I really did miss something, please explain me what I didn't
> understand. Thanks, --DD

As long as we favor allowing ${..} expansion on <import>, which I do, there is an
infinite number of things that could be evaluated, for the main reason that ANT's language
is extensible.

Jose Alberto

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