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From "Jose Alberto Fernandez" <>
Subject RE: Breaking Ant into several modules (was RE: Task for the new Pack200 format)
Date Wed, 11 Feb 2004 18:08:49 GMT
> From: [] 
> > I agree with the goal to make as many things antlibs as possible, I 
> > could even be convinced that we start to break up our 
> current set of 
> > core/optional tasks into antlibs with independent release cycles.
> Then we┬┤ll earn the whole inter-project-dependency-problems. 
> We have to ensure that an AntLib works with all AntCore 
> releases or fails with a defined error.

Which means having some sort of version dependency infrastructure.

> I agree that breaking Ant into several modules would improve the 
> development process, especially for the optional tasks. An 
> AntLib for the task implementation AND the correct version of 
> the 3rd party lib.
> But I see two things:
> 1. Plugging in AntLibs should be very easy - especially if they were
>    part of earlier Ant releases. Or we have to use namespaces 
> everywhere...
>    <project xmlns:zip="org/apache/tools/ant/antlib-zip.xml"
>             xmlns:script="org/apache/tools/ant/antlib-script.xml"
>             ...>
>    is a little bit too long, I think.
>    So dropping the AntLibs into a directory and they will be 
> "auto-deployed"
>    into Ant (I like that feature of JBoss :-) will be fine.

Agreed. What I would like is for this to be done by antlib itself
and not by core. So what I envision is some sort of <import>
directive that allows one antlib to import into its namespace
definitions of other antlibs.

a) Being able to add to the antlib.xml file something like:

   <import basedir="${ant.home}/libs">
     <include name="*.jar"/>

Where the import directive will look on each JAR file for and antlib.xml
and load the jar into its classloaders and the antlib.xml definitions
into its own.

b) once we have such a mechanism, third parties can provide their 
own cluster of related files that can be load globally or in a more
per project organization. 

> 2. It should be easy for the user to get a "complete" working 
> version of
>    Ant. So we should provide a bundle of the AntCore and a 
> set of AntLibs.

That would be simple.

Jose Alberto

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