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From Seth Landsman <s...@boondock.cs.brandeis.edu>
Subject Composite tasks and symlinks?
Date Sun, 25 Mar 2001 15:56:51 GMT
Greets,
	So for the past month or so I've been slowly moving the build system
of my research framework from a gross set of make, perl, sed, awk and shell
into ant.  Right now, all new functionality is going in as ant, being
called from the master Makefile.

	The requirements of the build system are pretty extensive, as
I'm unable to assume any sort of similarity across systems.  Required jar
files might be missing, might not be installed in the same locations, 
etc.  Unfortunately, it isn't an option to distribute the jar files with
the system, and I don't want to overwrite existing jar files.

	So, I wrote this task to (a) search for existing jar files, (b)
download them if they don't exist, (c) set up a symlink farm pointing to
all the various jars and (d) set a property to point to the jar.

	The problem is that this is four distinct tasks.  I could do this
via a set of tasks and do parameters via properties, but that seems like a hack
(and I'm trying to de-hack-ify my existing build system at this point).

	In the ant-dev mail archives, I see a short discussion about
an <aliasdef> tag or composite <taskdef> tags, but no apparent resolution.
Has this feature been implemented?  Given the ongoing Ant 2.0 discussion,
would a patch like this be interesting?  

	Also, an aside question.  Is there a decent way to make a unix symlink
via ant?  I wonder if there is a demand for a set of unix-ish tasks?  They
won't be cross platform (meaning unix -> windows), but some people might not
care.

-Seth

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