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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject Re: [ANT2] To <projectref> or not to <projectref>
Date Tue, 06 Nov 2001 06:30:40 GMT
From: "Peter Donald" <>

> The original purpose of projectref (and import before that) was to allow one 
> project file to refer to another so that cross build file DAGs could be 
> built. The case we were given as an example was allowing catalina to refer to 
> jasper and make sure it was up to date.
True. The question I am raising is whether this cross referencing and DAG style
will make for more "easy to understand" build files (as one of the requirements 
for ANT2 states) or not. Will general users, be tempted to produce spaggetti
builds because of the features set we would be offering?

I think these are valid questions to ask. Or at least to put on the table so that
we can examine any unintended consequences of the decisions that are made.

> The idea of a templating language in the core of ant has been -1'ed already 
> if you recall so something like you describe will never make it except as a 
> preprocessing stage while building project from ProjectBuilder. Even then it 
> will not be hosted at Apache.
What I am putting on the table is as much a template as Java classes are templates
due to inheritance. Yes, all object oriented programming concepts can be construed 
as a form of templating. Thanks god for that or we would still be writing in COBOL.

In any case, I am aware that these ideas have been rejected in the past, but
it may be worth revisiting some of the features that such a construct may be
able to bring. Is it as eveil as some people have position it? Or would it really
simplify and make more understandable the writing of complex projects
without requiring users to learn and be confortable with XSTL or Velocity
or some other template system.

I do not claim it to be a panacea, but ...

Jose Alberto

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