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From "Jason Rosenberg" <>
Subject Re: Fw: Problem using script task
Date Thu, 28 Dec 2000 12:33:45 GMT
What I see as really great about Ant is that it provides
a very clean, platform-independent framework for building
platform-independent software.

In addition to the obvious platform independent advantages
of working with java type stuff, it also hides the details of
dealing with file-system stuff, which is usually very platform
specific.  Issues such as checking relative time-stamps,
and converting '\' to '/', etc.

Also, it has a very clean target/dependency/task description
frame work, which is nicely extensible and customizable.

But it has some fundamental short-comings.  I am formulating
a more formal argument on this, which I will post later.

Some key points:

    Ant is already a programming language; it gets interpreted
    directly by the virtual machine that is ''.

    It already includes fundamental programming constructs, such
    as variable declarations (e.g. <property>), conditional execution
    (e.g. <depends>,<if>,<unless>) and sub-routine calls (e.g.

    Those fundamental programming constructs have fundamental
    shortcomings, which severly limit one's ability to construct
    simple scripts which can be applied as a library of parameterized
    templates for doing a long list of similar tasks.

    There are some simple extensions to Ant which would rescue
    these short-comings.

    The <script> task is at best a hack.  It dangerously exposes the
    externals of Ant (can access non-standard, non-user-mode
    methods, etc.).  Its use requires an internal knowledge of Ant.   It
    requires the installation and independent maintenance and
    monitoring of a bunch of other software components (bsf, rhino).

    Ant itself IS A SCRIPTING LANGUAGE already.  Object-oriented
    zealotry can only take one so far.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Corbin" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2000 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Problem using script task

> Jason Rosenberg wrote:
> > So, probably, once I get to a point where I've got my preliminary
> > build installation working, I'll make an effort to start writing
> > some useful flow control tasks.  I assume that wouldn't be
> > too difficult.
> > 
> > Or, are there philosophical objections to doing so.  Simple
> > things like loops and conditionals, etc.
> > 
> > Jason
> > 
> I'm hardly and authority, but...
> What is that you want to do that you can't do with ant.  Please give an
> explicit example.  It is my initial reaction that if you're going to
> turn ant into another programming/scripting language, that is the wrong
> path.
> -- 
> David Corbin 
> Mach Turtle Technologies, Inc.

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