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From "Ara Abrahamian" <>
Subject RE: [warning inflammatory email] Stagn-ant?
Date Mon, 08 Jul 2002 20:35:49 GMT
> What do you mean "backward compatibility"? Ant1 is mired in backward
> compatability! As for scripting, I presume you mean script-like tasks
> (<if>, <while>, etc) and not the <script> task itself. Is an XML based
> scripting language the way to go? I really don't know. It would
> certainly be convenient in cases. Things like <try>-<catch> should be
> there IMHO. The gradual addition of failonerror attributes to each
> is just the wrong way to do it. OTOH, If you need that much logic, why
> not just go into Java or <script>? We have seen how <antcall> gets
> abused :-) It is a matter of where it is best to put complex build
> logic, I guess. I don't know the right answer.

This scripting debate is very similar to the debate which resulted in
creation of RelaxNG. In RelaxNG you can define the schema either with
the xmlish format (valid well formed xml), or a more conscious format.

We've all gone this "semi-coding in xml" path. We know about JSP
taglibs, Velocity, Jelly and Xdoclet's template system (similar to
Jelly); we all know that it's very hard to write good/sophisticated
XSLTs. Imho coding any significant logic in xml is wrong. JSP taglibs
are a bad idea really. XML is good for data, not for logic/flow-control.

Can't we just get rid of it? Or at least provide a second format like
RelaxNG? I think something similar to Velocity  will be ok. Velocity
minus templating I mean. I mean Velocity instead of build.xml, but not
used for templating but instead used for controlling the build flow. We
can access Ant's javabean-like object model then from that Velocity-like
build flow file. Add to it the possibility to write Ant javabean
extenders/decorators (defined in a way similar to Tapestry). This
implies throwing away the Task concept but introducing a component
concept which is nothing more than a javabean plus a spec/mapping/dd

Does it feel utterly stupid? Or am I the only guy on earth who faced the
limitations imposed by "ant is not a scripting framework"? Come on guys!
I want to look over some directories which have a name other than CVS or
build and do some conditional copy/move/update-check operations. I can't
do it in plain Ant, I had to write a task, while my coworkers were
pressing me why I'm so slow on adding those tiny extra stuff to the
build process!


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