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From "James Duncan Davidson" <>
Subject Re: [RFE] Default Help target on error ?
Date Wed, 26 Jul 2000 03:04:47 GMT
on 7/25/00 4:52 AM, Peter Donald at wrote:

> will give help about ant rather than execute the help task. Damn
> infuriating when you have to explain to a bunch of people who don't want to
> read a build file that the most obvious thing they could do (namely "ant
> help") is excluded due to a design "feature" in ant.

I wouldn't call it a "feature" -- more like "hmm, lets make this as user
friendly as possible" and not thinking it through :)

>> If a <help> or <about> section is being proposed to be added to the
>> <project> which would give info about this particular project, I'm not
>> opposed to that.
> That would probably be a better idea but I am just using a target named
> xhelp at the moment that is full of echos much like all the apache projects.

What about:

    ant -help (how to use ant)
    ant -projecthelp (how to use this project, grabs description from xml

Sample xml:

    <project name="foo">
          This project is the &quote;foo&quote; project. You have the
          several following targets to hit:
          *) main
          *) dist
          *) clean
        ... tasks and such ...

Of course then you could have a whole discussion about what line endings
mean, is the internal text in HTML format, etc... I really don't have an
opinion on that -- but I do think that this general idea is good.


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