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From Peter Donald <>
Subject RE: if and unless attributes for all Tasks
Date Thu, 17 May 2001 16:35:36 GMT
At 12:38  17/5/01 +1000, Tim Vernum wrote:
>From: Roger Vaughn []
>> BTW, I'm still hoping for mutable properties (or
>> perhaps a separate set of variables.)  ;)  Used
>> *judiciously*, they can, in certain situations,
>> simplify scripts quite a bit. 
>There is no way to enforce that they will be used
>*judiciously* though.
>(See below)
>> Now, if someone goes
>> wild and creates what you describe above, well then,
>> that's his fault, not mine.
>Only because you can distance yourself from ant.
>If Ant makes it easy to write crap, then it reflects
>on Ant.
>Is it C++'s fault that many C++ programs
>  * Leak memory
>  * Have pointer errors
>  * Have major interdependency problems
>  * Have methods that are non-virtual when they should be virtual.
>  * and so on?
>I say yes.
>C++ doesn't require that you have any of the above problems,
>but it encourages a style of programming that causes them.
>C++ is most strongly criticized because of the code people
>write in it, as opposed to any actual language features.
>If Ant includes the "wrong" features, it too will be criticized
>because the build files will turn to crap.
>I'm not going to argue whether task level if/unless will do that,
>but I will argue that there is a set of features which are both
>useful and wrong.

agreed basically ... though I would probably emphasize that we don't want
to be supporting these features because it will mean more work for us
trying to support "wrong" features ;)

>I have stated a number of times that I think make is given a bad
>Make (especially GNU make) is not a particularly bad tool, but
>I have *never* seen a publically distributed project that had a
>decent makefile.

I have seen 1 decent build file for an opensource project. Four files - one
"data" for projects, one for doing rules, one for autoconf like setup and
one to include the other three at the top level. It was nice and easy to
understand ... if you knew make well ... but due to it being make I think
there was only 2-3 people who actually understood it (out of about 40
people working on project). If you notice this is also a similar format
that I want ant to become like. I may prototype something this weekend to
make my thoughts crystalize ;)



| "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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