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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: Msbuild
Date Tue, 04 Nov 2003 08:34:13 GMT
On Mon, 03 Nov 2003, Steve Loughran <> wrote:

> I must say it is the first time any project I've worked on has been
> cloned by microsoft to become a strategic offering of theirs.

Yes, a very interesting experience.

> I also think they may have a better list/set model than Ant's, which
> doesn't really have anything consistent at all,

At the same time they don't really support nested elements in a useful
way at all AFAICT.  You can have array type attributes, but then
MSBuild is going to convert lists into arrays for you from what I

I 100% agree with you that Ant needs a better List/Set model.

> I do think a bit of credit to the ant and nant teams would have been
> polite

It's even worse than that.  NAnt gets some bad coverage in a Microsoft
Press book they've distributed at PDC from what I hear.

Alex Kipman (Program Manager Visual Studio Core Team, according to his
sig) apologizes for this on nant-dev, but who's going to read it?

> -from a colleague who was at the MSBuild session, we didnt merit a
> mention. Sigh.

MSBuild is closer to NAnt than to Ant (as wittnessed by their use of
conditions on everything).  If I was naive I could think they aren't
aware of Ant.

Another interesting bit from nant-dev.  When asked whether Microsoft
was holding any patents on parts of MSBuild, Alex Kipman said[1]

| >>> This is a tricky question but I'll do my best to answer it openly
| and honestly :).  
| 1) Microsoft has submitted and has some outstanding patents on
| technologies included in the MSBuild engine (core platform stuff).  
| 2) MSBuild is written 100% in managed code and will not be obfuscated by
| us.  With this said, as of today there are no plans to release sources
| for MSBuild Engine stuff.  Not even as shared source. We are currently
| debating releasing sources for our tasks and loggers, but we haven't
| discussed license issues yet.

I assume that "core platform stuff" applies to the .NET platform at
large and don't think that could affect Ant in any way.



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