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From "Steve Loughran" <>
Subject Re: [PATCH] Copy task recognizes URLs as file attributes
Date Tue, 27 Nov 2001 22:40:10 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Magesh Umasankar" <>
To: "Ant Developers List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Copy task recognizes URLs as file attributes

On Wed, 28 Nov 2001 Jose Alberto Fernandez wrote :

First of all, I am not against either approach, but...

> If you want to allow copy to take URLs then add
> an "url" attribute for that. The original patch
> already added a bunch of other attributes which are
> specific to URLs.

>>From user's perspective, I want to copy one *file* to
>another place.  I do not want to copy a *url* to another
>place.  It just happens that I refer to the file to be
>copied using a url - aren't the following similar?

>My point is why should the protocol matter?  Why *shouldn't* the attribute
"file" be overloaded?

1. it aint a file, it is a URL. I know that you can argue that it is a
remote file, but that assumes that the url endpoint is 'legacy' static
content, not some dynamically created or retrieved thing.

2. The more information we provide in the XML syntax, the less
interpretation which needs to be included in the runtime, which gives more
flexibility in the future. Example: with a URL= syntax you could have an
XSLT task which treated file= assignments differently from url= assignments.

My friend Gabe, serious XML hacker, once took me aside and listed all the
places where ant was naughty and used hid structure inside an XML literal
instead of on the outside, which roughly comes down to wherever we used a
list and wherever an attribute was overloaded:
 <target depends="task1,task2" >
 <exec os="windows 2000, unix" > (actually this is worse, as we just
substring match, so "windows" would still get a hit>
 includes="...", excludes="..."

Now, some things have happenened, and they are frozen in the ant 1.x syntax.
But we dont need to make things continually worse, do we?

3. Remember that email about how we should have consistent property names,
srcFile and srcDir, destFile and destDir. Using srcURL and destURL would be
consistent. Yes, I know that <copy> isnt consistent with this scheme, but
that is a historical feature. We could make it consistent...


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