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From "Brill Pappin" <>
Subject RE: Platform independent classpath in build.xml?
Date Fri, 02 Jun 2000 14:29:49 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Conor MacNeill []
> Sent: May 31, 2000 8:34 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: Platform independent classpath in build.xml?
> Previously my position was that I had wanted ant to be useable by people
> using their native platform conventions. If a person has to provide a
> classpath and they are used to providing it in a particular way, I wanted
> ant to accept that. The resulting build files would still have been cross
> platform, provided no absolute paths had been used. My view was based on
> Unix and Windows style platforms and I guess that view may preclude other
> platforms.

Sure... that would be a good feature, but why wouldn't you have an Ant way
to represent the classpath?
> > There is also no reason that the system classpath can't work in
> > conjunction
> > with an "ant classpath"... once the ant classpath is converted
> to a native
> > path at runtime, the system classpath could be appended if desired.
> >
> Not sure what you are getting at here.

Ahh... what I mean is that Ant could use the systems classpath that its
running in as well as its own... append it is you like. A little out of
context I know :)

> >
> > Looks like it would work, but you have hard coded the path
> > As you can see, at no point do I use a hard-coded path separator... and
> > because of that, this method should work on *any* java compliant OS,
> > regardless of what unique path separators it uses...
> Your code is platform independent but it makes all build files platform
> dependent. A build file which works on one platform will not work
> on another
> with a different separator. One of the major goals of ant is to
> allow build
> files to be platform independent.

That's exactly my point... if you standardize the path separator, then the
build file become platform independent. As it is now, you must use a
separator from unix or windows... just because they are interchangeable does
not make them platform independent. The fact that unix and windows
separators are interchangeable at all, is really a convenience for those who
are used to using a particular separator, but its not to someone who is
familiar with an entirely different separator.

> I suggest you have a read of the core.html document in the spec directory.
> It discusses some of these issues.

Right... ok... so basically you say that ":" is the ant path separator...
this is what I want to hear... however my point still stands that it might
not be obvious to someone who has never seen a unix style path separator...
like myself (who does use unix btw) they are first going to try and use a
comma, because most other lists in Ant use them. Its a natural assumption.

- Brill Pappin

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