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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject Re: What is going on in ANT1.x
Date Sat, 09 Feb 2002 14:17:54 GMT
From: "Stefan Bodewig" <>

> On Thu, 7 Feb 2002, Jose Alberto Fernandez <>
> wrote:
> > The agraviating issue is that any mistake that escapes our eagle
> > eyes, inmediatelly becomes a feature and there is no way out of it.
> One of the policies I'd like to see employed is that there is
> absolutely no provision that we keep backwards compatibility between
> nightly builds, not even to beta builds or release candidates, only to
> released versions.


> I thought we had this policy, but I seem to be wrong.

Has ever been a written down policy stating such things for nightly builds?
I am shocked!!! ;-)

> Maybe we'd need a longer beta cycle (and a shorter alpha cycle?) to
> make sure enough people have been exposed to certain features so that
> we may be able to remove them in time.


> > And I fear that we will start ANT2 with a clean slate and in less
> > that a year we will be back facing the same backward compatibility
> > isues we are facing today.
> This is a very valid concern - obviously it cannot be addressed
> completely, at least not until I can get my crystal ball to work.

See that is what happens when you get your Cristal ball at the supermarket,
same happen to me, it is such a ripoff. :-)

> >> > We could define a DataTypeTaskAdaptor which takes an object,
> >> > defined as a datatype, and produces a Task that can be passed to
> >> > the TaskContainer.
> >> 
> >> If an element is not known at parser time, you don't know whether
> >> it will be task or a data type later - how would you address this?
> > 
> > By using UnknownElement. Not as a task per-se, but as a placeholder,
> Which kind of is what happens today - it does so by accident, but
> that's how it works.

My problem is with the working by accident bit, we need to move away from that
(and try to regain control of what is currently at fault).

> >> Isn't UnknownElement exactly this type of adaptor?  It inherits
> >> from Task and manages data types at execution time as well.
> >> 
> > 
> > I really think we are overloading the meaning of UnknownElement
> > which produces really confusing code.
> I didn't mean to add something to UnknownElement, I was just stating
> how it is working right now.

I know, and I although it works, I would prefer if we had a solid conceptual
definition not only of why it works, but also of why it is suppose to work.
Today we do not have the second, we actually have a violation of the type system.
This is why, in my comming proposal, I am trying to start to address this issue.
I may not get it in on the first go, but that is my intension. Once we ave a solid
base for why this or that is allowed, then we can move forward with a solid footage.

Lets see what I come up with ...

Jose Alberto

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