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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: Property substitutions, Contributed Tasks, & New features
Date Fri, 12 Jan 2001 13:12:36 GMT
At 07:58  12/1/01 -0500, Sam Ruby wrote:
>One think I very much like about ant is it's near zero learning curve.  I
>just got another convert yesterday, and it always is a joy to behold.  What
>helps make this possible is the fact that there is almost no hidden
>knowledge about how things work inside required to get started.  Much of
>the original implicitness, like the "init" task and the automatic copying
>of non-java files into the target by javac have long since been removed.

yup ;)

>The build.compiler is an exception. It "talks" directly to the inner
>workings of a specific task, without much in the name giving a visual clue
>as to how it works.  For example: does it apply to the rmic task?  No.
>For starters, I would prefer a compiler attribute to the javac task.


>Then I would go a step further, and make it default to the value of
>${javac.compiler}, if present.  For now, we could have property
>javac.compiler default to the value of build.compiler, and deprecate it.
>Taking this a step further, I would make any task's attribute default to
>${<task>.<attribute>}.  Now I can control deprecation on compiles, the
>window title on javadoc, the useTimestamp option on get, the jvmarg on
>java, ... all from the command line!


Remember ages ago when I was talking about either CSS or default proeprties
- this was exactly what I meant. When Constructing task objects from proxy
then you would set all explicitly defined attributes for task. The you set
all implictly defined attributes that haven't already been explicitly set.
I suggested this pre-comimtter status but it was -1'ed back then IIRC
because it was too complex ;)

>P.S.      Yes, I am the creator of the build.sysclasspath property.  So,
>sue me.  ;-)
>     [I would have prefered to name it project.sysclasspath]

Hey I have probably been mostly responsible for jikes specific properties -
(ie I have done much more worse than you ;-])


| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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