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From "Joe Schmetzer" <>
Subject Re: references: backwards compatibility
Date Tue, 17 Oct 2006 16:37:57 GMT
On Tue, 17 October, 2006 5:24 pm, Dominique Devienne wrote:
>> > BC is important to me, but when keeping BC means breaking my least
>> > surprises motto, then BC is not my friend any more ;-) --DD
>> I am afraid that ant has a lot of surprises!
> And this is bad. That's why Ant is difficult to use for large builds,
> because the build becomes exponentially difficult to troubleshoot
> when something goes wrong.
> I think we need to move toward a policy system where Ant's behavior
> can be made safer and more deterministic, like forcing to fail on:
> - not-runtime-defined references
> - allow or not reference overriding
> - expansion of non-defined properties
> - allow or not the property immutability hole of Project.setProperty
> - etc...

This is the essence of "fail fast", and as a design philosophy, I think it
will lead to much more robust software (or build scripts, in the case of

I've lost count the number of times I've tracked down weird failures in
Ant scripts that were really a result property not being defined further
upstream. Fail fast in situations like these would really save me time.

Joe Schmetzer .:. Renaissance Developer .:.

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