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From Bruce Atherton <>
Subject Re: Subversion in Ant (was Re: Attribute naming)
Date Tue, 06 Aug 2002 02:47:54 GMT
At 01:46 PM 8/5/02 +0200, Stefan Bodewig wrote:

>The same could be said for each and every other third-party task.

Yes, it could. It is important for all of us to keep in mind that there is 
an inconvenience factor attached to running third party tasks in Ant. That 
ends up having a chilling effect, and will even with antlib in place. For 
example, if I write an Ant build script for an open source project, I will 
avoid using anything in ant contrib because I want to minimize the 
inconvenience for people using the script, which means minimizing the 
dependencies they have to install before they can use it.

Should we then incorporate into Ant all tasks that are submitted? Of course 
not. Apart from the maintenance burden there is the additional download 
size and the additional complexity of having yet more tasks to learn. These 
have to be balanced against the cost of installing third party tasks to all 
users who need that task. The more users, the higher the cost.

So what makes a Subversion task worthy of inclusion in Ant when so many 
other tasks have to just  live with the inconvenience? As I said, I think 
that accessing a version control system is a core part of a build system. 
If Ant is going to provide any tasks at all, it should provide ones that do 

>Just to be clear, I'm not completely against bundling a svn task with
>Ant, but would really prefer to bundle it with svn - and make it a
>good example of a task that comes with the tools it requires.

And I am not dead set against bundling it with svn, but would really prefer 
it in Ant.

One of my itches is to see CVS disappear. That means making it as easy as 
possible for a user to switch over to Subversion no matter what their 
environment. I'd like to see a Subversion task in Ant for strategic reasons 
rather than technical ones.

Your argument is also a strategic one, that it would be helpful for Ant to 
have a good example of how to do a third party task, one that can be 
pointed to for all the other task makers to use as a model. I think this is 
a good point but given what I said above, does it have to be Subversion?

Besides, imagine if my itch was scratched in a few years and there were as 
many Subversion repositories as there are CVS ones now. Wishful thinking 
perhaps, but then I always was an optimist. Would you still think it 
desirable to keep a Subversion task out of Ant and make its users go 
through the extra configuration steps of locating the JAR file in their 
Subversion installation?

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