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From Phil Hourihane <houriha...@yahoo.co.uk>
Subject RE: enhancement for PropertyFile, have a patch
Date Fri, 02 Sep 2005 23:17:05 GMT
Hi folks,

Following a suggestion from Antoine I had a look at
filterchains and thought about the degree to which the
functionality of the PropertyFile task could be
expressed in terms of filterchains, and whether that
work would be fruitful, and would render the proprosed
modification to PropertyFile redundant.

The difficulty I see with this approach is that
properties files are not simply streams of text, so
manipulation at that level doesn't seem appropriate.
Up one level of abstraction is the TokenFilter stuff,
which transforms the incoming stream into a sequence
of tokens, and then filters these tokens. This is
closer to what we want, but still requires that each
token be expressed as a string. Actually the tokens we
are interested in are comments, blank lines (arguably
just the one type) and name-value pairs. The way to
process this then is with a PropertyFileTokenizer
which returns these sorts of tokens, but we could not
apply existing filters to these tokens (because the
existing filters operate on strings), so we would have
to develop a new set. If the idea was to mimic the
kind of functionality in the PropertyFile task (which
is kind of where we started), that would supply
requirements to an initial set (although there are
still some that would need a bit of thought). This
would, I suppose, provide an extensible way of
modifying properties files, but its a far cry from the
original task. It provides a conceptual overlap with
the filterchain stuff, but not a whole lot more (not
that the sharing of the concept isn't a good idea; it
is).

I haven't looked into the coding effort deeply here,
instead just thinking about the suitability of the
approach (I think there is some mismatch, but probably
not unresolvable). However, this is the Friday of the
week I had off work (well, between jobs), so I
probably won't have the time to tackle this the right
way that Antoine suggested. Apologies for letting
anyone down with that admission. Still, if the group
would like the quick fix just in the PropertyFile
task, I can post it; if not, not harm no foul.

PHiL


--- Phil Hourihane <hourihanep@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Antoine,
> 
> I'll certainly have a look at the filterchain stuff
> and see how much overlap there is between the work I
> did and that. The meterial that I prepared is only
> in
> passing a patch to PropertyFile, the main piece of
> any
> interest is a subclass of Properties which retains
> the
> format of the input stream from which properties
> were
> loaded, and which I thought to put in the public
> domain.
> 
> Anyway, since you have picqued my interest, I will
> look at the filterchain stuff, which I am not
> currently familiar with.
> 
> PHiL
>  
> 
> --- "Burgess, Benjamin" <BBurgess@tiaa-cref.org>
> wrote:
> 
> > +1 - excellent proposal
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Antoine Levy-Lambert [mailto:antoine@gmx.de]
> 
> > Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 10:03 AM
> > To: Ant Developers List
> > Subject: Re: enhancement for PropertyFile, have a
> > patch
> > 
> > Hello Phil,
> > I wonder whether, instead of patching
> PropertyFile,
> > you should not study
> > how the <filterchain/> framework works and
> implement
> > the functionalitiy
> > of propertyfile
> > as a filter. Then it should be possible to change
> > the implementation of
> > propertyfile to make it use filters.
> > To my opinion, all tasks which we have which are
> > manipulating text files
> > should be rewritten around filters. This would
> avoid
> > code duplication.
> > And make the functionality of property file
> > available on the fly.
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > 
> > Antoine
> > 
> > Phil Hourihane wrote:
> > 
> > >Hi folks,
> > >
> > >I hope I am getting the etiquette right for this;
> I
> > am
> > >a new body on the list.
> > >
> > >The PropertyFile (optional) task allows a script
> to
> > >alter an existing properties file, but all
> comments
> > >and layout are lost. This doesn't get a mention
> in
> > >bugzilla. I have an enhancement which retains
> > layout
> > >and comments when writing a properties file, with
> > >accompanying tests.
> > >
> > >I have a patch for the affected files, and there
> > are a
> > >few new files (util class, test class, and test
> > data)
> > >as well.
> > >
> > >Do the group want the enhancement? Or more detail
> > from
> > >me? Shall I post the patch and new files? Any
> > feedback
> > >is welcome.
> > >
> > >Philip Hourihane
> > >
> > >
> > >	
> > >	
> > >		
> > >  
> > >
> > 
> > 
> >
>
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