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From "Pierre Grimaud" <>
Subject FTP Optional Task
Date Fri, 03 Dec 2004 09:13:26 GMT
Hi everyone,

First of all, many thanks for the great team and the outstanding product 
(ant!) it delivers for now quite a while. What would I do without ant, I 
have no clue, but certainly a little less.

Anyways... I recently changed my production environment for my personal 
website so now I have to push files over FTP (across the internet) instead 
of a shared network drive. I had a quick look at the FTP task and was 
pleased as it seemed to address all that I needed and some more.

After a few days of testing and looking at some forums, it appears I cannot 
use it productively as of now, for a number of reasons, all of which I am 
willing to investigate and fix, to the best of my abilities of course.

This email is an attempt for a first contact with the Ant developpers 
community, in order to figure out :
1. how to submit a patch,
2. how to work with the latest (to ensure that my patch could be integrated 
in the build without versioning and merging nightmares),
3. To make sure no one is working on those same problems, making my efforts 
effectively useless.

Well, I hope I will get an answer to all three of these questions with this 
email. Disclaimer: I haven't had a look at the source code yet.

Let's now get to the core of my problems with the optional FTP task:

1. After transferrig a few files, the FTP task usually fails with one of the 
two messages:

1a. [SocketException: Connection reset]. I know that the timeouts on my ftp 
server are quite aggressive (1 min), but I have never had any problems with 
any of the FTP clients I have ever used, but for Ant's, possibly indicating 
a possible improvement.

1b. [could not put file: 500 ORT not understood]. This one obviously looks 
like a communication problem, but for the fact that it never happens on the 
same file or at the same time. Again, it is the first time I see that 
message, after some long month of interactnig with my server with other ftp 

All of these problems could be partially fixed by defining an "auto-retry on 
fail option", although it wouldn't really address the bugs and it would 
worsen the following problem quite a bit.

2. The transfer (with the depends="yes" option) is still extremely slow. 
This is of course due in part to my 128k DSL upload capabilities, but what I 
have seen in the debug mode seems to indicate that it still could be 
improved. I will now switch to pure speculation mode. The timestamp check 
for a file takes around 1 second on my machine, making the entire task 
pretty sluggish as I have hundreds of files. Instead of checking the 
timestamp one file by one file, it should be possible to get all the 
timestamps directories by directories, avoiding unnecessary roundtrips. Of 
course, this should be optional as it could actually worsen the performance 
on some cases.

Oh well, I will stop here for today and will ask the community if any of 
these problems are known, or acknowledged, or even in the process of being 
fixed. If not, I will be happy to proceed.

Thanks again for the great tool.


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