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From ant-...@apache.org
Subject [Ant Wiki] Updated: AntWeaknessesAndProblems
Date Wed, 08 Dec 2004 15:42:25 GMT
   Date: 2004-12-08T07:42:25
   Editor: SteveLoughran <stevel@apache.org>
   Wiki: Ant Wiki
   Page: AntWeaknessesAndProblems
   URL: http://wiki.apache.org/ant/AntWeaknessesAndProblems

   bullets

Change Log:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
@@ -1,18 +1,17 @@
 == Ant is not a workflow engine ==
 
-Ant is a build tool. It was created to compile and package code, and along the way has learned
about JUnit testing, rudimentary deployment, and other things. Yet it has remained focused
on the problem of build-time preparation of code, documentation and other artifacts of a software
project. 
+Ant is a build tool. It was created to compile and package code, and along the way has learned
about JUnit testing, rudimentary deployment, and other things. Yet it has remained focused
on the problem of build-time preparation of code, documentation and other artifacts of a software
project.
 
-Every so often, somebody tries to use it as a general purpose workflow engine. These people
usually get into trouble, for the following reason: General Purpose Workflow is Complicated.
The complexity with workflow is specifying the fault handling, when user intervention is needed,
how to handle failures of an operation. Transactions, retries, timeouts, all are features
of a workflow system -along with parallel execution of operations, fault tolerant execution,
and other needed features. 
+Every so often, somebody tries to use it as a general purpose workflow engine. These people
usually get into trouble, for the following reason: General Purpose Workflow is Complicated.
The complexity with workflow is specifying the fault handling, when user intervention is needed,
how to handle failures of an operation. Transactions, retries, timeouts, all are features
of a workflow system -along with parallel execution of operations, fault tolerant execution,
and other needed features.
 
-Ant is not a workflow engine, as it lacks
+Ant is not a workflow engine, as it lacks:
 
-* Persistent state. If the ant process dies, all explicit record of the state is lost. In
a build, this is not a problem; file artifacts are still present, and rebuilds are the best
action.
+ * Persistent state. If the ant process dies, all explicit record of the state is lost. In
a build, this is not a problem; file artifacts are still present, and rebuilds are the best
action.
 
-* Fault handling. In a build process, task failure often means something is seriously wrong
and needs fixing. In a workflow, exception handling logic allows for failures to be handled
automatically.
+ * Fault handling. In a build process, task failure often means something is seriously wrong
and needs fixing. In a workflow, exception handling logic allows for failures to be handled
automatically.
 
-* Parallel operation. Yes, there is a <parallel> task, but it gets complex to use.
Also, you need to be sure that all the tasks
-that are used in parallel are safe to be used re-entrantly. 
+ * Parallel operation. Yes, there is a <parallel> task, but it gets complex to use.
Also, you need to be sure that all the tasks that are used in parallel are safe to be used
re-entrantly.
 
-* Better model of state. Ant's write-once model of properties is ideal for a build process
in which outer build files can control inner builds. But it does not work when state is really
something that is associated with individual jobs going through the pipeline.
+ * Better model of state. Ant's write-once model of properties is ideal for a build process
in which outer build files can control inner builds. But it does not work when state is really
something that is associated with individual jobs going through the pipeline.
 
-Accordingly, we do not encourage people to try and use ant as a workflow engine. Ant can
be used as an execution tool to perform work in the context of a workflow engine, but it is
very dangerous and unwise to use it as a workflow engine. It may work at first, but you will
soon discover its limitations. 
+Accordingly, we do not encourage people to try and use ant as a workflow engine. Ant can
be used as an execution tool to perform work in the context of a workflow engine, but it is
very dangerous and unwise to use it as a workflow engine. It may work at first, but you will
soon discover its limitations.

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