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From Stefan Bodewig <bode...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Configure->Template->Build
Date Thu, 07 Jun 2001 06:39:24 GMT
Roger Vaughn <rogervaughn@yahoo.com> wrote:

> It just seems that the disc.  has turned to "is it right or not".

At least one part of it, others have been even less entertaining 8-(.

> --- Stefan Bodewig <bodewig@apache.org> wrote:
> 
>> Most of the problems people have with Ant - at least those people
>> asking for loops and such - stem from the fact that they are trying
>> to make Ant fit the paradigm they've been using in their respective
>> build systems before they switched to Ant IMHO.
> 
> Not necessarily.  That's one issue I have with some of
> these discussions.  You can't automatically make that
> assumption.

But this has been true for all such requests I've seen so far - maybe
my memory is failing, maybe I've not been paying attention ...

> It happens that the Ant syntax encourages the use of iteration,
> etc. in certain circumstances since the Ant targets do not operate
> directly on files.

This seems to be true.  The number of user requests Diane just answers
by pointing people to Tim's foreach task is really making me think
that Ant is missing a key feature here - especially since I wouldn't
know how to answer these requests without falling back to
modifying/adding tasks myself.

I've not come to a conclusion how Ant should support this out of the
box yet, but I'd prefer something simpler than an additional
front-end.  Yes, I sometimes find myself thinking that foreach could
be a core task ...

>> My major concern here is: Give them static templates and they don't
>> even bother looking up another way of doing what they need with
>> Ant.  They'll talk about the complexity of XSLT and say Ant would
>> be difficult to learn and all that.
> 
> I have to agree with your point, but on the flip-side,
> many of those same people will never make the effort
> to learn XSLT or any other solution, either.

Give them another template mechanism that is simpler than XSLT?

> Is it really the team's charter to prevent that from happening, or
> is it instead to ensure that 90% of build file writers *can* write
> clean files?

Not sure.  It is part of my charter to avoid "Ant is bad because you
are forced to use XSLT for easy things like a foreach loop" threads -
Ant doesn't deserve that.

> It seems a central issue of many of these discussions
> is the composition of the target market for Ant -
> novices or experts.

Both.

> Any solution that requires additional languages to complete the
> build will be necessarily more complicated to learn and maintain.
> For that reason alone, I personally would rather see the Ant core
> language itself become more expressive.

I agree, at least to the first part of this paragraph ;-).

Stefan

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