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From Roger Vaughn <>
Subject Re: The RIGHT Direction for ANT (was Re: Problem using scripttask)
Date Wed, 10 Jan 2001 06:30:25 GMT

We're being absolutely real here.  This is stuff that is being used in practice.
I *do* use XSLT to generate parts of some of my Ant scripts.  And you know what?
It makes the build spec files much cleaner, much more readable, much more
maintainable, and much easier for the end developers to understand.

XSLT isn't that hard.  Yes, it has the potential to be very messy, and very
difficult to understand - if you use it carelessly.  It's expressive.  Shall we
throw it out because of that?  The alternative is to add the complexity - via new
tasks or scripting - directly into Ant itself.  Most of the XSLT/Ant work I do is
with very simple templates - there's nothing cryptic or hard to figure out about
them.  Now, my J2EE builder on the other hand.....

But that in itself is a major part of the point.  Build scripting can get
complex.  If you're in a large organization or a large project, it makes sense to
contain that complexity by assigning it to one or two experienced developers.  If
you're writing small one-offs, though, then yes, adding XSLT into the mix is
probably too much.

I'm attaching a couple of examples for everyone here.

Diane - the attached examples illustrate what Jerry was talking about.  This can
be as simple or as complicated as you want.  The two "simple" examples show Ant
"extension" mechanisms, while the complex example illustrates creating a "higher
level of abstraction."


Jason Rosenberg wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jon Stevens" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 8:42 PM
> Subject: Re: The RIGHT Direction for ANT (was Re: Problem using scripttask)
> > on 1/9/2001 5:21 PM, "Bill Brooks" <> wrote:
> >
> > > XSLT is just like any other artificial language: its "intuitive" and "easy
> > > to read" once you've bothered to learn it. If you haven't, then it isn't.
> >
> > I've learned it and it still sucks.
> >
> > My $0.00 opinion only of course. :-)
> >
> I've looked at it, and tinkered with it, and there is nothing elegant
> or intuitive about it.   This not like any other artificial language.
> Seriously folks, there has to be a point where the purists
> get real and stop arguing about the future of Ant on the basis
> of mis-directed principal.
> Jason
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