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From Paul Hammant <>
Subject Re: Official direction for xdocs
Date Wed, 20 Feb 2002 08:40:01 GMT

>In the case of Anakia, it would be easy to create a download that
>contained the required versions of Velocity and JDOM together with a
>jar that contains the task definition itself - three jars and the
>installation instruction is "put these jars into ANT_HOME/lib".
I think the velocity team could do great service to the community if 
they made such a d/l available.

>In the case of Stylebook, things would be even easier.  "put
>stylebook.jar into ANT_HOME/lib" and assume that people use the
>optional.jar from our distribution area, which contains all optional
>tasks, including the stylebook task.
The situation *used to be* that the optional.jar did not contain the 
taskdef, if at *compile time* the dependant jars were unavailable. 
 Simply adding the dependant jar was not enough, the taskdef was missing 
from optional.jar.  *Now* optional.jar does include the StyleBook class. 
 But optional.jar is not in the default download.  Moreover I think 
stylebook will no longer work

The "Dependant Libraries" page of the Ant manual tells me I should get...

     stylebook.jar | stylebook task | CVS repository of

.... A link to 
would be better.  But you then note that it is tied to older versions of 
Xerces and Xalan. Hmm, I suspect the situation is that <stylebook> is dead.

Go to Google -> -> 
and see how varied the advice and configuration is on stylebook.jar

I'll repeat my assertion for historical and current reasons <stylebook> 
and thus xdocs capability is missing from Ant as downloaded.

>I think my main point is that IMHO it is the responsibility of the
>projects that offer XML -> HTML conversion via Ant to provide the
>single stop download.  And I'd really prefer if they would not bundle
>Ant but assumed that Ant was already installed (and point the people
>to the latest release of Ant).  This may mean two downloads for some
>people, but in many cases Ant will have been in use as a build tool
>before people thought about creating HTML from XML using Ant.
>>Avalon "solves" the issue by keeping in its tree its own version of
Because there was historically no version of doanloadable Ant that 
(amongst other things) has xdocs capability.  I am not defending the 
Avalon situation, I am just illustrating it.  The story is repeated for 
hundreds of projects out there that want to use xdocs, and have to rip 
their solution from Avalon, Cocoon or one of the Anakia solutions.  We 
are not selling Ant by abstaining on this issue.  That is my point.

>>In that ant we have stuffed many other jars.
>Just put these other JARs into the CLASSPATH or ANT_HOME/lib, no need
>to include Ant itself.
>>Nikola Barrozi has an excellent Ant using "starter project" for
>>third parties called Centipede.
>Do you have a pointer?  Sounds as if we should link to it from our
He has been here before and suggested it.  Look at ->

>>Like Cocoon's build files it is well separated, but building in a
>>custom version of Ant with Cocoon in it.
>I don't get it.  Why not simply ship the additional classes in a jar
>of its own and rely on a proper installation of Ant.  Ant is in such
>widespread use that you can almost assume an Ant installation when
>dealing with Java projects,
Correction you can reasonably assume Ant 1.4.x without optional.jar.

- Paul

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