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From cos...@eng.sun.com
Subject Re: ANT semantics and power
Date Tue, 29 Feb 2000 01:20:52 GMT
> The real problem here is what do the user want? Personally, i've never managed
> to use make,
> so if you tell me that by implementing dynamic properties, nested tasks and so
> on, i'm doing
> nothing but re-implement make, ok i stop here. But my problem is that i want to
> use Ant for

Yes, that's what I am afraid of. I am guilty of adding the properties in
the wrong way. At that time ant was just a build tool, not a candidate to
the long list of programming languages we have to learn.

I am also very much against using XML as a programming language.
<foreach>, <if> are ( IMHO) one of the worst way to write programms. I
know everyone will disagree, but that's my opinion - XML shouldn't be
used as a programming language.  

I would agree with your proposal if you choose any existing language (
except Basic ) and use it to script ant tasks. I think it is a good idea
to do that.

I am also against adding <foreach> and other PL constructs without a clear
design - do you add parameter passing to task groups? How do you pass the
parameters ?  Is it ok to have recursive calls? What primitive types do
you have ( or how can you use anything but strings ) ? 

A very good argument for that is the current <property> - it was also
added because it helped solving a number of problems, but you have a long
list of things that are wrong with it. It does solve the problem, but it
seems a lot of people don't like it and they are right about it. 

> situations that you have in real-life projects. And i like to write things in
> Java when they can
> be used and reused, but for one-shot problems I prefer to use a scripting
> language. So sure,

Please do so - but use an existing language - Tcl, JavaScript, Perl, Sh.
Not another scripting language. Or if everybody else wants to turn ant
into scripting - I would like to see the language specifications, instead
of the implementation. 

> >   I am intrigued by ANT being called a declarative language.
> > <http://www.instantweb.com/~foldoc/foldoc.cgi?query=Declarative> defines a
> > declarative language as follows:
> >
> 
> Perfectly right!
> Who wants to make Ant a Prolog-like language? or like PDF? (what can you do
> anyway with PDF)

Lisp would be great too :-) 
I don't mind any _existing_ programming language.

Costin


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