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From Phil Weighill-Smith <>
Subject RE: About <macrodef> in the trenches
Date Fri, 10 Dec 2004 16:14:12 GMT
I've never used macrodef in Ant, but would say that I'd find a
"template" definition easiest to understand with the following

<define id="t">
        <parameter id="x">
            ... (gives default value)

and usage of the form:

<apply refid="t">
    <binding id="x"> (maps to a parameter)
        ... (gives actual value)

or something like that.

You might even want to indicate that a given "parameter" is mandatory by
not specifying a default for the parameter.

How does that relate to macrodef? Can this approach be used? Is it worth
it? Just my tuppence worth. ;n)


On Fri, 2004-12-10 at 15:58, Dominique Devienne wrote:

> Thanks for the feedback Peter. I'll be off line most of Dec, so for now I'll just attach
my modified MacroDef/Instance files in bugzilla until I can properly try to integrate it to
Ant (it's not very tested yet, and not unit tested at all either). I worked off the 1.6 branch
anyway, and this would need to happen in the HEAD I guess, no?
> About (1), you're right. I used my <bm:sequential> which is more like <xsl:if>
than <ac:if>, because it has no <then> or <else> block. 90% of the time,
I don't need if/then/else, just if. I find having conditions on <sequential> very natural
and the Ant way ;-)
> (2) I initialy thought about putting it in the declaration, but I didn't think I could
pull it off. And after using it, I thought it was easier to read the macro code with the defaults
inside the macro impl instead of in the element declaration.
> (3) I agree it requires to get used to, but for the client code actually looks more 'normal'
and task-like. Like (4), one doesn't have to use it.
> (4) Again, it's a question of reuse. I don't deny using @{attr} in the macro instance
looks strange, but I did naturally try to use it with the regular Ant <macrodef> to
learn it didn't work. I wanted to avoid duplicate some info I had already entered in a macro
attribute. I'd say it's a nice to have thing, and one doesn't have to use it.
> BTW, after droping this code in my Antlib, my checkstyle Javadocs error count jumped
from 0 to 35 ;-) I'll try to fix this too. (I have a checkstyle config for Javadocs only).
> ________________________________
> From: Peter Reilly []
> Sent: Fri 12/10/2004 9:15 AM
> To: Ant Developers List
> Subject: Re: About <macrodef> in the trenches
> All these features sould great.
> 1) this attribute is good.
>      however,  it is only really usefull in combination with the iftrue
> attribute,
>      or with ant-contrib "if" task
> 2) a default value for the element is good. The default value should
>     be in the declaration, but it is ok to have it the body of the
>     macrodef.
> 3) this sounds good if a little stange initially.
> 4) this is good as well, if one is useing elements with macrodefs a lot.
> It may
>     be a bit confusing.
> I would say go for it!
> Peter
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Phil Weighill-Smith <>
Volantis Systems

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