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From Alan George <>
Subject Re: if and unless attributes for all Tasks
Date Wed, 16 May 2001 01:39:53 GMT
Peter Donald wrote:

> At 12:46  15/5/01 -0700, Alan George wrote:
> >I agree that an 'XML scripting language' is a bad idea.  But on the other
> hand,
> >having 'some' conditional processing in a build tool could be a good
> thing.  In
> >fact there is already 'some' conditional processing features available in ant
> >(e.g. the target's if and unless, the available task, dependencies, etc.).
> >Using the strict 'no XML scripting language' argument, these features
> should be
> >removed.  To create a build environment that is generic enough to handle
> >multiple products and concurrent revisions and do this with ant requires some
> >scripting language like features.  If ant can't make some of these
> decisions at
> >run time, it loses a lot of value.  Or maybe I am expecting too much from
> ant.
> I think you are confusing what Ant is supposed to do ;) Ant doesn't pretend
> to offer any genericness features - you can do it via DTD includes,
> ant-calls and complicated build.xml files but it wasn't really designed
> with that in mind.
> For Ant2 we do plan to offer genericness via "templating" - the
> how/why/where/whens of which have yet to be worked out but it will be
> probably be via some transformation tool (XSLT/Velocity/XSP/other). However
> I don't think the plan is to offer genericness in ant build files.
> Cheers,
> Pete
> *-----------------------------------------------------*
> | "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               |
> *-----------------------------------------------------*

I am sorry, I must be confused, I though ant was supposed to be a build tool;)
Why is everybody so hung up on 'if does not make since to do this in XML it must
not be a build problem we need to solve'.  I think your focus on XML is mistake.
A build is a work flow not some static data format (i.e. XML).  When all you have
is a hammer.....

Also, I can't get around the fact that there are if/unless attributes for
targets.  If conditional processing of a build is so bad, why do targets support
this.  If you where more consistent, you might not get bozzos off the street like
me saying "give me more".


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