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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: Official direction for xdocs
Date Wed, 20 Feb 2002 07:34:38 GMT
On Tue, 19 Feb 2002, Paul Hammant <> wrote:

> I'm talking of a position a year ago, when the doanloadable ant
> could not use <stylebook>, jars had to be downloaded
> and a recompile or optional.jar issued.

As Ant would pick up all jars from ANT_HOME/lib, no recompiled
optional.jar, just an additional jar that contained the stylebook task
would be necessary.  But I'm picking nits.

> It seems odd to me that many of the major projects at Apache have
> xdocs, but there is no way of using the downloaded ant via ANT_HOME
> to completely build the project.

First, which tool to use is a religious issue - and I think Ant is
better of when it doesn't take any position here.

Of the several options to convert xdocs to HTML, all could be done
with single downloads, but I don't think they should bundle with Ant.

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".

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.

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
> Ant.


> 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

> 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,


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