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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject RE: [VOTE] procedural versus purely declarative
Date Sun, 22 Apr 2001 15:51:34 GMT
> From: Peter Donald []
> At 03:39  20/4/01 -0700, Daniel Rall wrote:
> >I've been running into the need for flow control in Ant
> build files on
> >every project that I participate in.  It's either add flow
> control, or
> >have people write custom tasks or--ugh--external scripts.

I think we should use this oportunity to ask people to describe what kind of
circumstances they are facing that require the use of flow-control.
We keep on having these discussions, and keep on having people making
general statements of how this or that magic bullet will solve the problem.
At the end, we do not have anyone of the magic bullets and I do not think we
understand what is the real nature of the need.

I am all for not having flow-control if not needed (although we already have
it (i.e., "if" attribute). But I think we need to understand it better.

Can people post examples of what is that you need?

> custom tasks will likely be created regardless in ant2 regardl4ess of
> wishes of ant2 devs ;)

Back on the good old days of 1.1 I posted a <case> task that allowed setting
properties based on the values of others. At the time it was dismissed
because there were better magic bullets, but I keap it just in case :-)

> >There is a need, but I'm unsure whether built in flow control is the
> >right way to address it (probably is though).  To me, adding flow
> >control means trading ease of scripting for added complexity.  I've
> >never been a fan of added complexity, but the need must be met
> >somehow...anyhow, I'm rambling.
> Flow control is not the right way to do it in most cases (all
> of them???) -
> instead templating offers a better alternative.
> Unfrortunately we have to
> wait till ant2 before this becomes a reality ;)

I keep listening to "templating" as one of these magic bullets. I have not
seen the first concreate example on how such "templating" mechanism could
work and how it can be applied to solve any of the issues people claim it
can solve.

Can someone enlight us and show how they conceived such a thing to work? I
am not asking for running code, just give some hand waving example.

Half of the time these has been proposed, I fail to see how it can be used
to solve the problem without becomming yet another full language.

Jose Alberto

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