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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: Ant <project> extension, templatized build files
Date Thu, 02 May 2002 00:46:32 GMT
On Thu, 2 May 2002 07:04, Erik Hatcher wrote:
> I think its an unfair generalization to say that ant-dev is "unwilling" to
> deal with it. 

Historically it is fairly accurate. Go back to december-january archives in 
2000-2001, then fastforward a few more months (where it was repeated again) 
and then fastforward a few months again ... 

> Perhaps "uninterested" is more accurate. 

God no. I am VERY VERY VERY interested and have wanted this for ages (about 2 
years). The way I would implement it has changed but not the desire to 
implement it ;)

If this had been implemented then we would not even have this flame war on 
general. (ie maven vs centipede/gump/forrest). The only reason these projects 
have come into existance is because ant is not providing all the necessary 
pieces in a build environment. It is too much work to maintain complex build 
files when you have oodles of very similar products and build processes.

> Is there some way
> in which we committers have made it more difficult to build the templating
> pieces on top?

vetoing it? Maybe not you but previous committers have done so and many a 
flame war have focused on this issue. The required infrastructure has also 
been vetoed a number of times (think mutable properties, scoping, etc).

> I've never seen anyone post any design or patches for integrating any kind
> of templating into Ant's core. 

You haven't been round long enough. I have made proposals on a bunch of 
different occasions. Everything from making the language dynamic evaluated 
and constructed (effectively creating functions in ant) to preprocessing (via 
xslt, velocity) to inline expansion. The only one I haven't proposed for 
ant1.x is inline expansion as I guess I learnt my lesson when I proposed the 
two previous mechanisms ;)

The recent addition of DynamicTasks makes it possible to bypass many of the 
limitations but others still remain.


Peter Donald

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