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From Mike Jennings <>
Subject Re: new Task subclass
Date Thu, 22 Jul 2004 15:13:15 GMT
I haven't created hundreds of ANT build files, but my
intuition is that <target> being restricted from property
evaluation isn't that bad. IMHO testing for the presence/absence
of a property is fine at the <target> level. I don't mind
introducing yet another property name just for the conditional
execution of a <target> where it gets annoying is thinking up
new one-time-use property names inside of a target.

Instead of putting expression evaluation inside of if=""
which will probably break someone's buildfile somewhere,
why not make a new attribute called ifexpr="" (or similar)?

Whatever expression language is decided on, I'd like to see
something very readable like:

<somecmd ifexp="${mode}=debug">

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Matt Benson" <>
To: "Ant Developers List" <>
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 7:58 AM
Subject: Re: new Task subclass

> --- Stefan Bodewig <> wrote:
> [SNIP]
> > if/unless on a task or a nested element of a task
> > are normal
> > attributes and as such get expanded.  if/unless on
> > <target> doesn't
> > get expanded.
> > 
> Doh, that's right.... back to THAT big argument again.
>  But if the same principles apply, <target> would be
> restricted from expression evaluation for the same
> reasons as it is restricted from property evaluation,
> no?
> Also, let me add this reminder to the discussion: 
> IMHO we should be able to completely substitute Ant's
> PropertyHelper, and further we should be able to do it
> using Definitions and References, i.e. with current
> infrastructure, and without writing Java code, but due
> to the nature of what a PropertyHelper is/does,
> combined with the fact that references are set before
> elements are resolved (and possibly other factors?),
> *I* couldn't get it to work.  Again, the example is
> something like:
> <typedef name="myph" classname="my.PropertyHelper"/>
> <myph id="ant.PropertyHelper" />
> -Matt
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