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From "James Cook" <>
Subject Re: Did somebody say Shut up and Write? :)
Date Thu, 21 Dec 2000 13:39:52 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Duncan Davidson" <>
> > Genericity leads to the "trying to boil the ocean" problem.  ANT is very
> > vulnerable to this.  I would hate to see it devolve into some sort of wierdo
> > XML scripting language.

I think we have to take a big breath and step back. I position my proposal as a
more "generalized" approach over Ant 1.x, and it is true that I have not decided
to put Project and Target in "core" Ant. I think this is a very wise move, and I
have only heard arguments against it phrased as "Well in my experience this is
not a good idea". Perhaps we can put egos aside and debate the design based on
its technical merits.

The realization that Project and Target *are* Tasks greatly simplifies the
development and maintenance of the execution engine. This seems to be a
difficult perspective for those who grew up (or wrote) Ant 1.0. It seemed very
clear to me, and it allows for a true "core", where Project and Target still
exist, but as Tasks on top of the core. Seems pretty logical to me. In addition
to supporting the build semantics of Ant 1.x, it doesn't restrict users from
using Ant in different paradigms that we haven't even considered yet.

I have not done anything truly radical. I have simply considered the "execution
engine" as core, and moved Project and Target higher up in the framework. I
think that anyone with good design skills and an objective eye, will see that
this is the "right" design decision. Ant actually becomes more powerful and
flexible by simply moving the "core" demarcation point one step closer to the
execution engine/

As far as Joshua's claim that by infusing Ant with this amount of power could
"devolve [Ant] into some sort of weirdo XML scripting language." I fully concur.
I *can* see this happening. Remove the word "weirdo", and to some degree "XML",
and I think this would be a wonderful evolution. Ant is a wonderful
cross-platform build tool, and it should always be so. frANTic does nothing to
thwart this direction. It simply and effectively defines an Ant core that is
easy to maintain, build Tasks upon, integrate scripting, scope parameters, and


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