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From "Jon Skeet" <>
Subject RE: Ant 2 et al.
Date Tue, 09 Jul 2002 14:55:59 GMT
> Well, I think ant1 is one of the cleanest and best documented 
> codebases in jakarta and xml.apache. And it seems to have one of 
> the best communities, and probably is the most used. Not to mention 
> that the "Task" and the other core interfaces and the DTD are a 
> de-facto standard.

Hmmm... having (re)documented the core package (a while ago, admittedly, but I doubt it's
changed that much) I have to disagree to some extent. There are quite a few bits that I really
still didn't understand fully after a fair amount of head-scratching. I'm positive it could
be made simpler, with a clean sheet. Some of that simplification could no doubt be done in
an evolutionary way, but not all of it. There are various interfaces etc which are larger
than they need to be due to backwards compatibility, and the like.

Don't take this as knocking Ant in general - it does its job amazingly well, and the "mess"
is, I suspect, a necessary byproduct of backwards compatibility and the evolutionary model.
I just wouldn't hold the codebase up as a paragon of virtue in itself.

(Mind you, I haven't looked at the other Jakarta projects - you may well be right about it
being the cleanest, and that just doesn't mean it's actually clean :)


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