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From Simeon Fitch <>
Subject Re: Info about Antidote
Date Mon, 29 Jan 2001 15:24:13 GMT

--- Deryk Sinotte <> wrote:
> Hi Simeon,
> My name is Deryk and my company is looking at providing our customers
> with a
> GUI front-end to Ant (this group builds tools for other developers and we
> are planning on using Ant for ourselves as well as recommending it to our
> customers).  I haven't used Ant before this and I just recently tracked
> down
> your the Antidote development stuff during my initial CVS checkout of
> Ant.


Thanks for your interest in Ant and Antidote! What sort of feature set were
you looking at building? I'm *very* interested in hearing from new
perspectives on what features whould be useful in an Ant build tool GUI.

> I wasn't sure whether the regular ant-dev list was appropriate for this
> discussion and since your name pops up on many of the documents and
> source
> files, I thought I'd send it to you directly.  Feel free to pass this on
> or
> post it as you see fit (or have me post it).  If there is a mailing list
> or
> something dedicated to Antidote, please let me know.  If future
> correspondence should go to ant-dev, let me know as well.

I am CC'ing the Ant development group as this discussion *is* appropriate
for it (and no, Antidote doesn't have it's own list--I can already talk to
myself quite well thank-you-very-much ;-) ).

> I've downloaded, built, and ran the latest versions of Ant and Antidote
> (as
> of Jan 26, 2001) and I've briefly perused the source code for Antidote.
> I've gone over the documents regarding design/requirements/features and
> I've
> also tried to find as much other information in the mailing lists.

Great! I hope you found something interesting.

> I have some questions about the timing and direction of Antidote that
> would
> help me decide where I could best put my efforts:
>  - Is there any more helpful historical information about Antidote that I
> should read before throwing myself into the fray?  When and why it was
> started or that type of thing?

You best bet for gaining some historical insight is to do a search here
( for "gui", starting from
the date October 27, 2000, the date I first poked my head into the Ant
development group regarding a GUI for Ant. The start of this search can be
seen here (
There are definately discussions available before this date, but this is
where the discussion of Antidote started.

>  - What is the current timeline for Antidote to become a part of the
> regular
> Ant release.  The mail list mentioned that it was out not in the 1.3
> release.  Is it being aimed at Ant 2.0?  How far out is that estimated to
> be
> (wild-ass guesses are totally acceptable)?

The facetious answer is: "Depends on how many people start contributing to
Antidote." :-). My real answer (which may or may not jive with other
members of the group) is that Antidote will be publically released (maybe
or maybe not with the Ant core) when it supports enough features to be
useful. I'm not sure how you quantitatively determine this, but as far as I
know, noone is using Antidote even though you can use it to rapidly run
compile jobs and track down errors. 

So far I'm really the only one doing any development on it, so the
"schedule" is basically non-existant; code gets written as I find time and
motivation to do so. I'd like to see it being used within the next siz
months, but don't think I can get there alone (read: I'm begging for help).
On a personal note, I'm in the process of starting a business, so my
available time has decreased drastically in the last month or so (billable
work takes precidence ;-) ).

>  - What features are being worked on right now (by you or others) and
> what
> others are prioritized down the list?  Does it closely match the
> requirement
> and design documents in CVS?

The lastest thing I've been working on is developing a wizard to create new
build files, but it's hard to know if that feature will push it over the
"usefullness" edge.

>  - In the more specific sense and more directly related to Ant, is there
> any
> plans to come up with an XML Schema for Ant?  It seems that this would
> make
> the building of dynamic GUI elements more dynamic and editing/validation
> somewhat more robust (using any tool or parser when XML Schema support
> becomes more mainstream). I've seen an attempt at a DTD but I don't thing
> they are as useful for things like validation. Of course, being new to
> Ant
> and XML Schemas, I'm not sure how easy or difficult this would be.

Very interesting question, which is at the heart of many old Ant
discussions. There is no *official* DTD/Schema for Ant, primarily because
the current extension mechanism is based on the developer adding new tags
which would be incompatible with a standard DTD (you will have to ask the
others in the group why a DTD compatible extension mechanism wasn't used. I
don't know.). 

There are definately tools out there already for XML editing. That's not
really the goal of Antidote. The hope is that the user will never have to
care whether the Ant data file is XML or not. Take a look at
for a good vision for Antidote written by Stefan Vaillant.

>  - I believe there were a couple more but it's late on Friday and I'm
> getting a bit groggy ;-]
> Look forward to hearing from you,
> Deryk Sinotte
> Wind River Systems

Thanks again for your interest.

Simeon Fitch

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