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From Jeffrey E Care <>
Subject Re: Performance of fileset related operations with a large number of files
Date Fri, 20 Jan 2006 02:33:29 GMT
I don't profess to know the code as well as the committers, but I don't 
see how this would be feasible. 

First off, how would an iterative approach actually be faster? 
DirectoryScanner (or its iterative equivalent) would still have to do the 
same amount of work to select the files, so even though you're spreading 
the time out over the entire operation, it should still take approximately 
the same amount of time overall to perform the file selection. The only 
way I can think that an iterative approach would be faster is if you could 
write a fileset iterator that had a background thread making the 
selections, leaving the "main" thread to process the files.

Of course, BC is always a concern as well. We certainly could not get rid 
of DirectoryScanner, or any of the its public methods. Another BC concern 
is that, IIRC, <copy> tells you how many files it's going to copy: an 
iterative implementation could not do that; we'd have to add an extra 
attribute to the copy task to use the iterative behavior, which would also 
then likely mean entirely different blocks of logic...

Maybe instead of such a massive refactoring (which even if accepted would 
not be delivered in an official Ant driver for a long time) it would be 
better to <exec> some native processes?

Jeffrey E. Care (
WebSphere v7 Release Engineer
WebSphere Build Tooling Lead (Project Mantis)

<> wrote on 01/19/2006 07:18:02 PM:

> Hello,
> I have been trialling Ant as a driver for a large scale build execution.
> The preparation before the build involves copying and unzipping >100,000
> files spread across >20,000 directories. When using Ant's built in copy
> task with filesets selecting large parts of these files, a long time is
> spent building the list of files to copy, which also takes a lot of
> memory. This is my understanding of how Ant works with filesets after
> browsing the source. 
> Is there any way to avoid this high memory usage and time spent building
> a list?
> Has there ever been any consideration of refactoring the way Ant
> processes filesets and similar constructs such that each selected file
> is processed once read in an iterative fashion, rather than building a
> complete list and then processing?
> thanks
> paul
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