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From Daniel Rall <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] procedural versus purely declarative
Date Mon, 23 Apr 2001 17:09:10 GMT
Peter Donald <> writes:

> Who saids it won't be another fully blown language? ;) XSLT is what I
> intend to use unless something better comes along. Essentially it allows
> you to do as much or as little transformation on your build files as you want.

Ah, this concrete description of "templating" helps a lot.  I think
that this would probably address most flow control issues.

> Most logic requests have been about setting values of properties, recursive
> ant calls based on directories, repetition of ant targets with different
> parameters etc. These can almost always be determined statically but are
> done at runtime because there is as yet no templating done. Effectively
> most people want to squish the functionality of autoconf, automake and make
> into one process (when naturally thats a bad idea).
> My main aim is to have build files that look like the following
> <mybuild>
>   <library name="jmx" version="1.2"/>
>   <library name="xerces" version="2.1"/>
>   <product name="myjar" type="jar">
>     <include name="org/apache/myjar/**" />
>   </product>
>   <product name="myotherjar" type="jar">
>     <include name="org/apache/myotherjar/**" />
>   </product>
> </mybuild>
> It would then be transformed into whatever low-level build file required
> (ie all jar/javadoc/dist targets) via XSLT.

[Even though this is just an exmple/suggestion] I really question your
use of XSLT as the "language" of choice.  My--albeit
limited--experience with it has shown it to prove unwieldy for all but
the simplest transformations.  One viable alternative is
Anakia/Velocity, which is MUCH more friendly and flexible (two
attributes which I don't associate with XSLT).


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