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From Phil Surette <>
Subject RE: <propertyfile> use cases request
Date Wed, 20 Feb 2002 14:46:46 GMT
I use propertyfile but none of the funky stuff you're worrying about.

However, if you're interested in feature requests ;)

- it would be very nice if propertyfile would preserve comments
etc. This is already mentioned in the task documentation as a
nice-to-have. I've looked around the web and can't find any utility
for editing property files that you could use and have considered
writing one. Right now I'm trying to polish up a set of
Jython task definitions however.

- I would also like a property file merge type operation where
the contents of one property file could be added to another
property file and override any shared properties. Basically
what I want is a sort of inheritance for property files.

My use case
for this is related to managing configuration files for
multiple j2ee containers. I have a common properties
file that contains things like jdbc driver names, topic
and queue names etc. But jboss and weblogic have different
naming conventions for some of these things, one container
will need an extra configuration parameter, different 
versions of the same container will have some differences,
so I want to do a merge like this:
overridden and extended by
overridden and extended by

The result of this is applied via a copy/with/filterset
operation to jboss244 filter configuration files.

-----Original Message-----
From: Erik Hatcher []
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 8:23 AM
To: ant-dev;
Subject: <propertyfile> use cases request

I'm knee-deep in refactoring <propertyfile> to actually work in as many
cases as I can envision. It has been in several states of disrepair in the
past and I'm trying to fix it so that <entry> defaults and operations all
work as expected.

There is some odd code in there that allows operations besides "+", "-", and
"=" and I'm wondering if anyone ever used these.  They are not documented
for the 'operation' attribute and I plan on removing them.

Are folks using date operations with <propertyfile>? If so, could you send
me some samples of how you are using it so that I can roll those into the
test cases?

I'm not quite sure how the date operations should be specified.  It looks as
though if 'value' is used in conjuction with 'type="date"' and 'operation'
then the value attribute is taken as a date (Calendar to be more precise)
and then added or subtracted from the actual value.  It seems odd to apply
those kinds of operations on two dates, but maybe I'm missing something.
You don't really add one date to another, you add days, or hours, or years.
Is there some other API that I should be looking into for date operations so
that 'value' is not pulled in as a Calendar object when an operation is

What does a date of "never" do?  Why would you ever use it?  Is it just a
placeholder for an unknown date?

Again, send me <propertyfile> use cases, especially if doing date
operations.  If you don't then risk me breaking it!  :)


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