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From Bruce Atherton <>
Subject NIO 2.0 == Ant 2.0? was Re: Java NIO support
Date Mon, 13 Feb 2012 18:25:30 GMT
I actually wanted to discuss Java 7 on the list. I went through its 
features a while ago and got really excited when I read through NIO 2.0. 
It does so much that Ant has to struggle with, and so much that Ant 
can't do.

I spent some time starting to implement a very simple (only a few tasks) 
new version of Ant that started from Java 7. Personal issues have taken 
me out of the game for a while, but I've still been wondering, could 
Java 7 and NIO 2.0 be a good reason to create Ant 2.0?

I realize I am violating "Shut up and show me the code". While I 
personally won't be able to help much for the foreseeable future, I've 
seen communities be revitalized by creating a new codebase. It attracts 
new committers who have been annoyed by the previous bug/feature 
combinations and get excited about the possibilities of helping to 
create a new codebase. Cocoon did it twice, although I wouldn't 
recommend that because the people attracted by Cocoon 2.2 went away 
because they felt their efforts were wasted thanks to Cocoon 3.0.

It could be a way to sweep away the kind of cruft that is holding up the 
release and to redesign Ant to reflect all the lessons learned about how 
to build software in the last 10 years. Or it could be I'm the only one 
who read through the NIO 2.0 features and instantly thought about 
rewriting Ant.

What do you guys think about it?

On 2/5/2012 11:25 PM, Stefan Bodewig wrote:
> On 2012-02-05, Mansour Al Akeel wrote:
>> I have been looking and developing some custom task for ant, for the last
>> few days. I noticed that ant tasks don't use directly. I am
>> assuming this is due to the way behave on different platforms,
>> and the support for patterns .... etc.
> You must not forget that parts of Ant have been written at a time where
> Java2 was too new to require it as runtime environment.
>> However, now with java 7, we have the Path class that is very convenient to
>> use. I think having this will make writing tasks easier, by cuting down the
>> steps to convert between ants Path and java.nio.file.Path.
>> Are there any interests ?
> Yes, there is.
> Just now we have voted to accept Java5 (yes, 5, not 7) as our minimum
> requirement for Ant's trunk following the upcoming 1.8.3 release.  This
> means we can not use Java7 features directly.
> One approach that may be possible is to write a FileUtils replacement
> using Java7 features.  Almost all file system interactions of Ant go
> through FileUtils and Ant's core could detect at runtime whether Java7
> is around and use the matching FileUtils class.
> Stefan
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