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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: ANT's strange semantics and proposed change
Date Sat, 26 Feb 2000 13:08:19 GMT
James Duncan Davidson wrote:
> > It would be better to abstract the way ant gets its
> > configuration
> > by using the Configuration interface defined in the Avalon project
> (another
> > apache project),
> > and use their xml loader
> Let's not get complicated here. I like what the guys are doing on Avalon.
> But I see no reason to lean on more complicated frameworks when a very
> simple introspection solution works just fine. I'm not a big fan of trying
> to overgeneralize a decent solution just because it can be done. There needs
> to be a more concrete reason for generalization besides the desire to do so.

As one of Avalon main architects, I cannot agree more with James.

We are learning on our skin that the abstraction of the Avalon framework
is incredibly powerful... but has great costs.

We are almost ready to ship JAMES 1.0b1 (the Java Apache Enterprise Mail
Server) which is totally based on the Avalon framework and implements a
full blown SMTP + POP3 + MailServlet engine in something like.... 8
classes :)

Yes, people, Avalon + JAMES = 200Kb jar file.... but it took almost 2
years to reach a point where something was beginning to function and
until that point, nobody could understand a damn thing of the whole

I'm confident at one point, even Tomcat will be "ported" under Avalon.
Cocoon2 is actually being redesigned based on the Avalon interfaces.

One day, you'll be able to send/access your mail from HttpServlets or
create PDF reports as Mail messages using Cocoon out of an HTTPRequest.
All because the internal blocks will know how to "talk" to each other
and share resources.

But this comes with a price of incredible abstraction and design
complexity (well, not that hard after you get it, but it's different
from what you would do... it's all based on the inversion of control
principle, sort of an internal Jini federation of components and

Anyway, sorry for the noise, but don't port Ant under Avalon... it
doesn't make sense :)

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
 Come to the first official Apache Software Foundation Conference!  
------------------------- http://ApacheCon.Com ---------------------

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