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From Dominique Devienne <>
Subject RE: Getting 1.6 out the door
Date Wed, 03 Sep 2003 14:58:44 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Costin Manolache []
> > As I've been saying all along, lets just introduce a new (unique) notion
> > for attribute/variable expansion (at use time rather than definition
> > time), which
> > is something new in Ant anyhow. No (or less?) backward compatibility
> > issues, and makes it plain and obvious what is what:
> >
> > ${name}       it's a property!
> > (@name)       it's an attribute/variable!!!
> I think this is a bad idea.
> Chosing between macrodef and ant simplicity - I preffer the second.
> There are already a lot of complex rules in <ant> and <antcall> and
> <import>, I think the last thing we need is a new syntax for "macrodef
> variables".

We obviously don't have the same idea of what complexity is...

To summarize:
* You consider complex adding a new notation for variables in general.
  (they're not "macrodef" variables, but variables in general...)
* I consider complex adding a new meaning/behavior to the properties
  notation we have, since the meaning of ${name} now becomes
  context-dependent. Do I need to point out its context-independent
  right now???

Peter actually has a point that using an XSL-like syntax/notation will
lead to escaping problems when mixing Ant's XML dialect and XPath
expressions. I haven't seen many build files myself which mix the two, but
it's a valid point.

Your point about adding a new notation being complex, I just can't agree
with... You might have helped people on ant-user before I joined the Ant
community, but as someone who has done substantial work there in the past, I
can tell you that overloading the meaning of ${name} in the context of
<macrodef> will cause much confusion. You may not care, but I do.

Anyways, as I've grown tired of fighting this loosing battle, I'll give up
on the matter. I'm stubborn, but not Don Quichotte.

Nobody will be able to say I didn't try... --DD

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