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From Peter Donald <>
Subject RE: [PATCH] New <case> task
Date Fri, 13 Oct 2000 06:58:48 GMT
>Personally, I find the limitation imposed on the if/unless to only that of
>set/not-set rather than also being able to test for value, just to try and
>keep Ant from having a "scripting" capability, rather odd. Testing whether
>something is set or not-set is still "scripting" -- you're still
>determining what will and won't be done, based on some criteria. Yes,
>there are all kinds of ways to work around this limitation, but they all
>get cumbersome and, I find, make the whole process far more complicated
>than it really needs to be. I would love to be able to do something like:
>  <property name="out.dir" value="${debug.dir}" if="sane=true"/>
>  <property name="out.dir" value="${release.dir}" if="sane=false"/>

No offense but thats because you are still thinking that ant is make and
treating it the same way. Given the above example would the following work

  <property name="out.dir" value="${release.dir}" if="sane!=false"/>
  <property name="out.dir" value="${release.dir}" if="sane=FALSE|sane=false"/>
  <property name="out.dir" value="${release.dir}" if="sane=^false"/>

all these things are "easy" to read and just as clean as above solution -
would you accept them  ? A few generations more and we would end up a full
regex evaluation - and then guess what it is not easy to read. 

>It's clean, 
I don't think so

>it's concise,

nope again ;)

> it's human-readable. 

and so is make ...

>As things stand now,
>though, I need to do all of that sort of thing over in the ant
>wrapper-script. My ant wrapper-script is already far larger and more

Ant is not a drop in replacement to make and it is not meant to be used in
the same way. If you want make - there is already one of them available ;).
Have a look at the way other apache projects use build.xml to see how they
are different (Avalon, JAMES and Cocoon all have decent build.xml files -
with Avalon being most complex and best). 

If you really want to alter ant instead propose a frontend interface and
get it doing stuff in a preprocessor stage. I just see it as extremely
unlikely that any such "enhancements" will ever make core - at least while
the original predecessors of Ant are around (and I assume they lurk or
monitor). You should have seen the "discussions" when someone decided to
add if functionality. That debate lasted weeks and was only grudgingly
allowed - thus why I see it as virtually impossible that such behaviour as
you want will ever get to core. 



| "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want |
| to test a man's character, give him power."          |
|       -Abraham Lincoln                               |

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