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From "Kevin Jackson" <>
Subject Re: suggestion : Ant 1.8 full dist to include a 'scripting lang'
Date Tue, 19 Sep 2006 02:57:56 GMT
> On Fri, 15 Sep 2006, Jesse Glick <> wrote:
> > -0.5 on Lisp or Scheme.
> I don't think anybody around here was more than half-serious.

I was more than half serious, but not as part of Ant, more as an
interesting side project

> > Don't get me wrong, I probably would have been miserable as a
> > teenager were it not for CLtLR2.
> ?

Common Lisp the Language Release 2 (I guess)


> demonstrates my biggest problem with using a scripting language
> instead of something abstracted away from scripting (like our current
> XML format).  You start to use the scripting language where you don't
> need it.

ok that's a fair comment, but there are times when you really need the
full expressiveness of a language (of whatever kind, I view build
files as a declarative language).  Right now we are missing a few
control structures which may only be used from time to time, but give
a lot of expressive power - antcontrib to a certain extent fills that

I still stand by my assertion that Ant should include scripting
support out of the box, and my preference would be to support rake
style syntax ala

Because basically you have 90% of the tasks done in a declarative
style and when you have that 10% of awkward stuff for a nightmare
build, you *can* get access to the language underneath.  Right now in
Ant it isn't possible to get access to Java in the same way, and
without supporting scriptdef properly (ie with no bundled script
language), you cannot have that ability.

> We've defined a new language with Ant without noticing what we did.

How many people say "build script" when they should say "build file"?
I think in most users minds they "program in Ant" - so yeah Ant has
it's own language, it's just a fairly awkward mix of mostly
declarative with a couple of imperative control structures implemented
with XML on top of Java!


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