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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject RE: [VOTE] procedural versus purely declarative
Date Mon, 23 Apr 2001 15:38:38 GMT
> From: Peter Donald []
> >> 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.
> Who saids it won't be another fully blown language? ;) XSLT is what I
> intend to use unless something better comes along.
> Essentially it allows
> you to do as much or as little transformation on your build
> files as you want.

XSLT is nice for little things. But it is a language 10 times more complex
than ANT. If that is the alternative we are givin real users, I do not think
it will be useful for 90% of them. I also fail to see how you can do
property expansion and such using plain XSLT. Without that we have non of
the power of ANT.

Don't take me wrong, I am sure there will be some narrow very cleverly
define set of build files that will be able to use such an approach, but I
do not see it as the general magic bullet people keep on proposing it for.

> Most logic requests have been about setting values of
> properties, recursive
> ant calls based on directories, repetition of ant targets
> with different
> parameters etc. These can almost always be determined
> statically but are
> done at runtime because there is as yet no templating done.
> Effectively
> most people want to squish the functionality of autoconf,
> automake and make
> into one process (when naturally thats a bad idea).

Humm, by this reasoning, we could remove fileset wild characters since we
can achieved the same thing using templates ;-)

Of course the point is simplicity of use. I am not sure we will gain that
with XSLT. We will need something taylored to ANTs needs.

Jose Alberto

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