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From <>
Subject Re: Did somebody say Shut up and Write? :)
Date Fri, 22 Dec 2000 04:24:07 GMT

I'm just a lurker/ant user so my opinion is probably not worth much.  I have to
say though that I like this proposal.  To argue that it could potentially
provide too much power seems silly.

Conceptually this proposal is much simpler than what we have today and certainly
much simpler than JDD is proposing for Ant 2.

I would agree that the extra flexibility provided by this proposal could
potentially be abused, but don't forget that the commiters will still control
the core of ant.  If a patch doesn't fit with their vision of ant it doesn't
have to be applied.

Thanks to everyone who has made Ant what it is today.  It's saved me hours of
work in the time that I've used it and I look forward to seeing how it evolves.

Merry Xmas,

Glen Stampoultzis

"James Cook" <> on 21/12/2000 11:39:52 PM

Please respond to

cc:    (bcc: Glen Stampoultzis/ITD/MEL/Ansett/AU)
Subject:  Re: Did somebody say Shut up and Write? :)

----- 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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