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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: executing task for each file in file set
Date Wed, 23 May 2001 14:37:54 GMT
At 10:18 AM 5/23/01 -0400, Daniel Barclay wrote:
>For ideas that have been rejected, are they permanently rejected?

probably not - the majority of ideas were rejected in context of ant1 and
we never really discussed possibilities (except when discussin frANTic
proposal) a while back.

>Do the Ant designers seem to recognize the value of making things regular
>and consistent for better "composability" of features even if a specific 
>need isn't imagined yet?

I do - you will see that near 90% of my posts are aimed at either that or
ease of maintanence (for us and for build file writers).

>I'm thinking about constructs that can appear at the top level.
>I know some (maybe you?) reject the idea of allowing arbitrary tasks at 
>the top level, feeling that that would allow someone to write an Ant build 
>file with everything done at the top level (with no targets), and since 
>that's not considered to be a good idea, Ant should not allow that.

It was rejected in context of ant1 .. you may be able to convince people
for ant2 (sounds like people have warmed to the idea). I think its a bad
idea in general but then again when I deved the prpoosal I specifically
allowed for it so ... ;)

>However, just because a feature lets you do something "bad" doesn't mean 
>the feature shouldn't exist; maybe it has legitimate uses and should be
>available, and just shouldn't be misused.  
>(E.g., most people agree that one shouldn't normally write thousand-line 
>methods or functions.  However, no mainstream programming language prevents
>doing that, because no particular arbitrary line limit would satisfy 
>everyone.  Additionally, uses not originally envisioned (e.g., generated
>code) might be perfectly valid but made impossible or much more difficult
>by a line limit.)
>(Also, note that Ant currently allows one to put every task in one big 
>target anyway.)
>I know there's concern about leading people into bad practices (more than 
>just allowing them) but I don't think that's a problem for this particular
>Anyway, I'm zoning out a bit, so I don't really have a coherent 

The only real objection I remember (besides a lot of religious ones) was
that it could lead to ant as a script file and it could cause jumps as
people move from targetless ant to target-full ant.



| "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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