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From "Felder, Brian" <>
Subject RE: nantcall task (was: Optional task: Visual Basic.NET compile)
Date Tue, 10 Sep 2002 19:20:43 GMT
I can see that this is much more complex than I originally thought. :-) A
few thoughts:

You could probably get away with passing in properties using NAnt's command
line interface (using "-D:<name>=<value>") -- but then, there is no way to
get messages back from the subprocess. This seems to be the key reason for
the need for the XML protocol.

It seems like the use of an XML protocol would require a handler on the NAnt
side, and for TCP loopbacks, you would need some sort of listener process.
The protocol would need to be understood by any process with whom Ant
communicates -- it would require some coordination with the NAnt developers.

One of my immediate needs is to be able to run NUnit tests in our build
process. It looks like the simplest option for now is to build an <nunit>
task for Ant. Is anyone else interested in this?


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Loughran []
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 4:20 PM
To: Ant Developers List
Subject: Re: nantcall task (was: Optional task: Visual Basic.NET

----- Original Message -----
From: "Felder, Brian" <>
To: "'Ant Developers List'" <>
Sent: Monday, September 09, 2002 3:41 PM
Subject: nantcall task (was: Optional task: Visual Basic.NET compile)

> I like the approach of calling NAnt from Ant. Just out of curiosity, I
> a <nantcall> task. I'm attaching a first cut at this, with tests. It's
> extremely simple: it takes a NAnt buildfile name, and a space-separated
> of targets. [NANT_HOME]/bin must be in the PATH for this to work.

comma separated, surely. Spaces are valid in target names.
> I'm not sure if there are issues related to using this within Cruise
> Control. If it works as Curt says, perhaps this would be a good way to
> Ant drive a build process that includes both Java and .NET code.
> Brian

one thing that <ant> does is pass down  references and properties, messages
sent from below are passed up, things we have to replicate across processes.
We have the same problem with <nantcall> as one would have with <subant>
with fork=true, if that were ever implemented.

The obvious solution here is (and its a good one)
-define an XML wire protocol that can be used between an ant process and a
sub process.
-use that wire protocol over std-in and std-out, or over tcp loopback

If done right, the same protocol would work for nant, ant w/ forking and
remote access a la rant. SOAP would seem the obvious choice, though it
doesnt have a stdio transport that I am aware of.

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