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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject PropertyHelper (was: Re: beating the dead Ant 1.6 horse)
Date Thu, 14 Aug 2003 06:38:35 GMT

Dominique Devienne wrote, On 12/08/2003 15.37:
> I'm also interested PropertyHelper, and in particular Costin's
> experimental XPath based one. I'd like to be able to define
> functions (defined as part of an AntLib) to operate directly on
> property values, kind of like XPath functions, and it sounds like
> property helper is the way to get this!?!? --DD

Yes. PropertyHelper is a property interceptor, and it simply rocks.

In essence, you register a helper with Ant. Then, at each request for a 
property, each registered helper is asked for the property value in 
turn; the first one that has it, returns it.

A typical one is the xpath one, as you say, that resolves the request as 
an xpath in the Ant Project, if the property starts with "xpath:".

Centipede has been using it for a long time, basically to read an xml 
file as a property in a more powerful way than simply using xmlproperty.

Now we are doing our own helper that reads the Gump descriptor, the 
Maven one, etc and makes them all accessible as a single virtual 
descriptor. In this way Ant users can have any descriptor they want and 
use that to gather properties and infos for the project.

Just an example of the usage of PropertyHelper.

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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