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From "Bill Burton" <>
Subject Re: Official direction for xdocs
Date Tue, 19 Feb 2002 22:12:15 GMT

Paul Hammant wrote:
> Bill,
> >>In one line : I find it odd that Ant has no default way of building
> >>xdocs in its downloadable form.
> >>
> >
> >Because it contains almost no xdocs :)  Even if the entire manual was in
> >xdocs format, someone downloading an Ant runtime would not need to rebuild
> >Ant's docs.
> >
> I am not really talking about ant as a project, I am talking aboiut it
> as a tool for use with other projects.  The projects I elude to are
> hosted at Apache, but can't be completely built with out of the box Ant,
> thus they include their own in their CVS tree.  A forked ant if you
> like.  A forked ant inside, forked inside Apache if you like.

I know that's what you were referring to and I was just giving one reason
what things are the way they are.

> >However, to support what you suggest would require including the
> >velocity-1.2-dep.jar with the distribution which currently weighs in at
> >474 KB.  Then if XDoclet becomes a requirement for generating task xdocs,
> >that adds more heft as well.  But that would only be needed by those doing
> >task development.  The thing is most builds don't use this functionality.
> >If your's does, then include those jars in your distribution so it will be
> >self contained just as you've described for Avalon.
> I am not interested in extracting infor from xdoclet (different to
> xdocs) tags, nor velocity.  

Then by definition your understanding of "xdocs" is entirely different
from that used by most of the Jakarta sites.  They are built using Anakia,
part of the Velocity distribution.  Anakia performs similar functionality
as XSLT but is somewhat simpler to use.  There is also a site.xsl which
can be used to generate similar output to that of Anakia's site.vsl.

So if you don't want Velocity and Anakia included, then you're assuming an
XSLT processor would be included, probably Xalan.

> The technology I talk in widespread use on
> Apache projects is xml-documents (styled to html for websites) known as
> xdocs.  Here is a snippet :
> <s1 title="Heading one">
>   <s2 title="Heading Two">
>     <p>Hello!!!!!!!</p>
>   </s2>
> </s1>

Yes, I know.  The snippet above is based on the Avalon DTD which differs
is some respects to that used for xdocs in the other Jakarta sites (and  The equivalent used for the Jakarta sites looks like:
  <section name="Heading one">
    <subsection name="Subheading one">
      <p>Subheading text</p>

> >Once the Ant manual has been converted to xdocs, there could be a
> >paragraph mentioning how it was generated and where to obtain the support
> >to do similar things yourself.  It could also contain links to other Ant
> >supported ways of generating documenation.
> >
> Sorry dude, we are talking about different things.  You - Ant's own
> documents, Me - Son of <stylebook> taskdef

No, not at all.

> - Paul

Built in support for generating HTML from xdocs is not included in the Ant
base distribution for the same reasons lots of other stuff isn't
included.  To provide the support you're asking for in the base
distribution requires bundling either the Velocity distribution for Anakia
support or Xalan for XSLT support.

One of the goals of Ant2 is to be more modular.  So there's probably even
less chance such support would be included in the base distribution unless
it was required for build file templating.


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