ant-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Bevan Arps <bevan.a...@actfs.co.nz>
Subject Re: on *evil practices*
Date Wed, 12 Sep 2001 01:05:27 GMT
At 17:52 11/09/2001 -0700, Alejandro Abdelnur wrote:

>i do not think that the way of avoiding *evil practices* should be achieved
>by trimming the capabilities or the power of expresion of Ant but by
>provinding guidelines on how to use things. always there are things that
>look like *evil practices* to purists but are needed by a real task.

The key here is "trimming the capabilities or the power of expression" of Ant.

There are always decisions to be made in the development of any tool. One 
of the most important areas is to decide what the tool shouldn't do.  Any 
application that tries to be a Swiss-army-knife or a jack-of-all-trades 
inevitably ends up being a poorer tool.

A great example here is MS Word - which tries to be Word Processor, Desktop 
Publisher, Content Reviewer, Document Designer, Mail Client (and more) all 
rolled into one. The first it does extremely well - the others less so.


The specific functionality that has been rejected from Ant seems, to me, to 
fall into two categories:

-- Shortcuts to functionality already present

Rejecting these doesn't reduce the power of Ant in any way - and does serve 
to keep Ant simple. A good example here is the presence of if/unless 
attributes on the fail task.

-- Dangerous Features

ie Functionality that provides a moderate level of increased ability at the 
expense of great danger.

One common problem common to any tool is the fact that new users tend to 
blame the tool for their own mistakes or misunderstandings. Make a tool 
with too many Dangerous features and new users will find the tool too 
quirky and discard it, looking for something simple.


I applaud the Ant Team (take a Bow, all of you) for having the courage to 
"keep the vision".

I might (in fact I do) disagree with some of their decisions - however I 
can't ignore the fact that it is their dedication to "what might be" that 
has given us such a fine tool.

My 3c,
Bevan.



--
"Programming is an Art Form that Fights Back"

Bevan Arps (<mailto:bevan.arps@actfs.co.nz>bevan.arps@actfs.co.nz)
Senior OO Analyst, ACT Financial Systems

This communication  is confidential  to ACT  Financial  Systems  (Asia 
Pacific)  and is intended for  use only by the  addressee.   The  views and 
opinions  expressed in  this email  are the senders  own and do not 
represent  the  views  and  opinions of  ACT  Financial  Systems  (Asia 
Pacific).


Mime
View raw message