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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: [ANN] Collecting requirements for Ant2
Date Wed, 21 Mar 2001 06:34:13 GMT
At 09:25  20/3/01 -0800, Bill Brooks wrote:
>What I'd like to see in Ant 2.0 is a much more thought out declarative
>language for the XML build control files that stays firmly within the non
>procedural programming paradigm.

+1000000000000000 ;)

>With this, we need extensive documentation and examples so that people
>with little programming background understand why build.xml files work the
>way they do with the syntax they have. 

ouch - are you volunteering ? ;)

>Other than the obious advantages, this would have three good side effects. 
>1. Obviate the need for continually-asked for, half-baked, control
>   stuctures.
>2. Prevent Ant from becoming a monstrosity of a scripting language like
>   perl 
>3. Lower the traffic on ant-user and ant-dev initiated by people who think
>   that all languages must be somehow procedural in order to be useful and
>   that all those who think otherwise are hopeless purists who
>   must be worked around by hosting external Ant tasks on SourceForge. 

While I think it is pure lunacy to encourage/host/enable control structures
and think that it is better to have one simple method for doing X. 

However ... I would not be willing to block the ability by any means and
encourage anyone to host tasks/forks elsewhere if they want to do something
differemt (like those foul control structures ;]). Over last 3-4 months I
have been learning that it is often better to have activity, quantity and
low quality .. err lots of places for improvement ;) when building a
community. Why do you think I kick the Ant nest every now and again (hint:
it's to see activity ;-]).

Secondly - documentation. To do this correctly we need good docs. Its a
pity duncan left as he was going to write a book on Ant (or maybe still
is?). Without a volunteer to do this I think that too many bad practices
will be in place to "force" our design belief on others (even if it is for
the best).



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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