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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: From attributes to elements and other concerns
Date Thu, 23 Nov 2000 09:14:37 GMT
Peter Donald <> wrote:

> I just received a number of complaints/concerns about latest ant
> direction from a number of relatively non-technical people (and as
> such I am not sure if they are valid complaints).

Too me they are valid. At least they don't become invalid just because
they are non-technical people 8-).

> As ant has evolved there has been a tendency to reduce the number of
> attributes in a task and increase the number of elements.

There are two sides of the coin. 

Talking about the file operations copy, move and delete, they have
become more complicated - but I don't see a way around that other than
removing the deprecation warnings from the old tasks and
reimplementing them in terms of the new tasks, something along the


protected Copy copy = new Copy();

public void setDest(File dest) {

public void setSrc(File src) {
    FileSet fs = new FileSet();

public void execute() throws BuildException {

But I wouldn't really like this approach of providing tasks that are
nothing but shortcuts for another task. Actually, we do have a case
like this with antcall/ant.

In almost any other case, nested elements are probably easier too
understand than attributes, especially when it comes to
enumerations. Having lists separated by comma or space is far more
difficult to read than a number of separate elements IMHO - and makes
it impossible to include entries that contain commas or spaces.


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