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From "Conor MacNeill" <co...@m64.com>
Subject RE: [PATCH] Suggestion for new commandline switch -targets
Date Mon, 14 Aug 2000 11:36:31 GMT
Marcel,

My own feeling about this patch is to ask why you don't just read the
build.xml file? Then again, not everyone thinks the way I do :-) I have seen
some people saying that they have big build files and need this facility.
If, however, a build file is big (and presumably complex), I wonder if
giving a list of targets might not be a little dangerous, as in "a little
knowledge is a dangeroud thing".

In the end, there is not much semantic content in a target name and users
may be tempted to guess what targets do, with surprising results. Do you
really want users to start executing targets when they aren't familiar with
the build file. Perhaps this sort of information may be better provided in
documentation accompanying the build file rather than trying to extract
meaningful documentation purely based on the target names.

We had another discussion once about including a <help> or <about> element
in a project which would display information about the build file. This
concept could be extended to include help about particular targets.
Something like

<target name="upgrade">
  <help>Don't use this target as it will erase your operating system</help>
  <erase_os>
</target>

Thoughts?

Conor


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marcel Schutte [mailto:marcel@schutte.com]
> Sent: Monday, 14 August 2000 7:34
> To: ant-dev@jakarta.apache.org
> Subject: [PATCH] Suggestion for new commandline switch -targets
>
>
> Reposted with my suggestion in a diff file. Also, see comments below.
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Christopher Elkins [mailto:celkins@scardini.com]
> > Sent: zondag 13 augustus 2000 22:59
> > To: ant-dev@jakarta.apache.org
> > Subject: Re: Suggestion for new commandline switch -targets
> >
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > In the attached version of Main.java there are some simple
> modifications
> > > which make ant recognize a -targets option.
> > >
> > > This will print out a list of all the targets available in
> the selected
> > > build-file. It is meant as some sort of documentation on what
> > the build-file
> > > can do. Execution is suppressed.
> > >
> > > Do you guys like this suggestion, and if so, how do I go about
> > incorporating
> > > it in ant?
> > >
> > First, you should submit your patch in diff form
> > <http://jakarta.apache.org/guidelines/source.html>. It makes it
> > much easier to
> > evaluate.
> >
> > Second, I think this would be a useful addition. Many ant-using
> > projects create
> > their own targets (e.g., "usage") to provide similar
> functionality as your
> > patch. Standardizing such behavior would be a very good thing.
> >
> > However, not all targets in a build file are suitable and/or
> relevant for
> > calling from the command-line. For example, calling the "prepare"
> > target in
> > jakarta-ant/build.xml from the command-line would have limited utility.
> > Therefore, it might be useful to add an attribute to the
> <target> tag that
> > allowed one to specify whether that target should be output in
> > Main.printTargets().
>
> Or perhaps a 'private' attribute, which can make a target
> invisible from the
> outside and only visible to 'depends' clauses.
> Another optional attribute could be 'description', to be printed
> as part of
> the target list.
> Let me know what you think of this,
>
> >
> > > Regards,
> > > Marcel Schutte
> > >
> >
> > --
> > Christopher Elkins
> >
> >
> Regards,
> Marcel Schutte
>


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