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From Jose Alberto Fernandez <>
Subject RE: [PROPOSAL] Optional Tasks
Date Wed, 13 Dec 2000 00:45:50 GMT
> From: Stefan Bodewig []
> Jon Stevens <> wrote:
> > The definition of a "core" task is a task that Ant really cannot
> > live without. This would be similar to taglibs that are part of the
> > core JSP specification.
> > 
> > The definition of an "optional" task is a task that really should be
> > packaged with the product it serves.
> > 
> > However, there are cases where this is not feasible. Therefore, we
> > will provide a separate CVS repository and mailing lists that serve
> > as a storage and support area for tasks that cannot be bundled with
> > the original products. 
> And then there is a bunch of tasks that are not needed to build Ant
> and that are not related to a specific product either. <rmic>, <war>,
> <exec>, <native2ascii> and so on. They should go into the repository
> of optional tasks as well.

I do not think I agree with your interpretation of the definition of core
vs. optional. Just to say that only things needed TO BUILD ANT are core
seems to me to be a very bad definition of what the core is. So what 
happens if some other task that was not needed today becomes needed for
building ANT in the future, do we have to move it from the optioal package
to core?

ANT cannot be te standard, just because and, for example, do not uses the 
<rename> task we cannot say that <rename> is not core. I see here a big gray
area, but for example I would think that all tasks that only rely on JDK
not on other JARs nor other executables, can be part of core. <rmic>, <exec>
<native2ascii> are tipical examples of things I think we need to put in.

<war> on the other hand, is in a more fuzzy area because although it may not
realy need some other tools it only relates to some particular java
extension. So in that sense to be useful you need more stuff.

With respect to <exec> It is the basic task for people to be able to
write their own local tasks or <targets> that connect to other tools
in their own environment. If people cannot rely on having a facility like
this available out of the box, ANT will loose usability.
> So if we can clarify the definition of what goes into the separate
> repository, that's fine with me.

I am all for it. But lets keep in mind that we do not loose the usability
of the ANT core because we have some unrealistic border line on what
should be core and what not. And as I say, ANT itself cannot be the

Jose Alberto

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