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From "Steve Loughran" <>
Subject Re: Request: Change <javac> debug default to "on"
Date Tue, 05 Nov 2002 23:22:41 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Johnson" <>
To: "Ant Developers List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 1:36 PM
Subject: Re: Request: Change <javac> debug default to "on"

> But Steve Loughran reveals that Ant has been sacrificing backwards
> compatibility and changing the existing behavior of <javac> in the last
> releases:
> > So...up to ant1.3 the situation was
> > debug=false was the default, but you really got -g:lines,source
> >
> > in ant1.4 you got
> > debug=false was the default, and you really got  -g:none
> >
> > in ant1.5 we got
> > debug=false was the default, but you could select which options to
> > When you set debug=true the default was -g:source,lines,vars
> Thus, we have an existence proof that the debug default setting can be
> without creating community trauma.

I provided proof of change, not proof of absence-of-trauma.

indeed, the changes in ant1.5 were effectively a fix for the trauma
introduced by ant1.4, as in that version you only had two choices: all debug
or no debug, compared the previous choices of : enough debug to handle a
support call, or full debug.  This was a major (and accidental) breakage. We
werent changing the default, so much as changing the semantics of

Also note that the a usage of ant has increased over time, it is becoming
harder and harder to change things. We have so much inertia that any change
we make breaks something, somewhere.

> > So if people are trying to fix things to be compatible with javac and
> > backwards compatible, they  come up with a system that
> > -defaults  to -g: source,lines
> > -when debug=false really generates nothing
> > -when debug=true really generates everything
> Sounds good to me.

well, see what the consensus is, feel free to write the fix, the docs and
the tests. Yes, tests make adding the fix that much harder, look on it as
creating a barrier to excessive change.

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