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From "Michael Sunde" <>
Subject RE: Implicit element for macrodef
Date Tue, 25 May 2004 17:02:05 GMT

This is a feature that I have been waiting for. Thanks.

There is one other issue with macrodef that has been bothering me a
little. The issue comes up when I compare macrodef to scriptdef.
Scriptdef has a type attribute on the elements which makes the usage of
the script cleaner:

  <scriptdef name="scripttest2" language="javascript">
    <element name="files" type="fileset"/>
    // do something with files

    <files dir="src"/>
    <files dir="main"/>

Since macrodef does not have a type attribute, the usage would look
something like:

      <fileset dir="src"/>
      <fileset dir="main"/>

Notice the extra 'files' element. Would it be possible to add an
optional type attribute to the element declarations in macrodef so that
the syntax would look something like:

  <macrodef name="processFilesMacro">
    <element name="files" type="fileset"/>
      <copy todir="dir">

    <files dir="src"/>
    <files dir="main"/>

Shall I log an enhancement request?

So far, macrodef has been very useful in my build files.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dominique Devienne [] 
Sent: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 10:20 AM
To: 'Ant Developers List'
Subject: RE: Implicit element for macrodef

> From: Peter Reilly []
> I am looking into an implementation of implicit nested elements for
> macrodef:


>     <showfiles property="x">
>       <fileset dir="." includes="*.xml"/>
>     </showfiles>
>   </target>
> The implementation does however involve a small Backward Incompatible
> change to the implementation of MacroInstance.

I'd say this is young enough that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Own would implicit elements interact with nested macros, each having
an implicit element?

I personally have one request for <macrodef>: Is it possible to
determine whether an element or attribute was set in the macro
instance? Here is my use case: I have a macro that performs several
tasks, each of them using a different element of the macro. If one
of those elements is not specified in a macro instance, I'd like
to completely skip the corresponding macro task (use <ac:if> or a
builtin condition on that task). Currently, I have to define on
additional attribute on the macro to turn ON the execution of a
task, when the mere presence of the element for that task is enough
to determine whether it should run or not. Maybe something like:

<macrodef name="...">
  <element name="schemas" optional="yes" />
  <attribute name="jaxb" default="@?schemas?" />
    <jaxb ... ifTrue="@{jaxb}">

The @?element? is purely arbitrary, and just to illustrate my point.
I guess I can get by with the attribute/element twins, but I'm just
wondering if there's a way to basically discover info on the macro
instance itself, and put it to some use, as above.

Thanks, --DD

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