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From Nicolas Lalevée <>
Subject Re: [POLL] target-groups
Date Wed, 16 Dec 2009 13:36:57 GMT
On Tue, 15 Dec 2009 17:53:25 -0800, Bruce Atherton <>
> Sorry if the previous thread was hijacked by naming issues, but I'm not 
> sure I'm ready to vote in a poll yet.
> To me, only two of the options are seriously being discussed right now:
>   1) the current target-group codebase
>   2) moving the behaviour of target-group into all targets through a 
> marker attribute
> On first glance, changing target-group to a target with a marker 
> attribute looks like a NOP, but this is not necessarily true. As you 
> pointed out before, Stefan, targets are used in quite a lot of contexts 
> and in some of those contexts (like import) things might get a bit 
> confusing if we just substitute a the target-group concept in for a
> My question is whether we need to provide different behaviour under any 
> circumstances between a target and what we now call a target-group 
> (other than the obvious extension of dependencies). If they can be 
> treated as completely equivalent I'd favour what I've labelled as option

> 2 above. If there are circumstances where, for example, you couldn't add

> a dependency to a suitably marked target because of namespace issues or 
> import issues or whatever, then I would vote for option 1 above, so as 
> to make it clear to the user that there are considerations that need to 
> be made when using the target-group construct.
> Can anyone give a concrete example where there would be a problem 
> treating a target-group as if it were a target?

Nitpicking: I would ask the question the other way: is there an issue to
make targets opened like target groups ?

For my part I don't see any. But as already wrote I have not the
experience you described about finding "backwards chaining [being an] often
(usually) surprising behaviour to the first time user, but once learned
quickly becom[ing] second nature." I got directly to the second step (maybe
because I learned Ant by reading build files wrote by Stéphane ;))


> Stefan Bodewig wrote:
>> before we get carried away with naming discussions ...
>> Currently I don't feel there is consensus of what we'd like to see with
>> target-group (if anything at all).  The options I see are
>>   * have some sort of composite of targets that other targets can add
>>     themselves to
>>   * have some special construct that has a depends list similar to
>>     target.  targets can depend on such a construct and add themselves
>>     to the depends list (the current code base).
>>   * allow targets to add themselves to the depends lists of any other
>>     target
>>   * allow targets to add themselves to the depends lists of targets
>>     in some way mark themselves as being open for such extensions
>>   * no target-group like construct at all
>>   * something completely different?
>> What is your preference?
>> Stefan
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