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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: target as a property
Date Thu, 26 Jul 2001 17:23:36 GMT
On Fri, 27 Jul 2001 02:30, Mike Deibler wrote:
> Can we quantify the number of people who really want these features?

I don't know of any good way of doing it ... we can't even quantify how many 
ant users there are ;)

> Basing the result on the messages on this list won't give a good
> representation. Are the list members a good cross-section of all ant users?

Not in my opinion. Most people who subscribe are doing so to solve specific 
problems (and then they leave again), then there are those who have 
difficulties with complex projects (usually build engineers or at least 
people who are responsible for build process) and then there is the others 
who are just here to learn. So in many ways it is the extremities of the bell 
curve that come here and stay. 

Naturally the build engineers want a more comprehensive tool with minimal 
cost to themselves. I would estimate that about 70% of the time these 
features are requested come from this group.

>  Are the posts even representative of the list members in general (i.e. how
> many uninterrested lurkers are out there)?

no idea ;)

> Perhaps a more formal feature voting process should be evolved to gauge
> the true user interest in potential feature additions.  How that can be
> accomplished is unclear.
> Thanks,
> Mike
> Christopher Berry wrote:
> > This seems to be a recurring theme in the Ant world.
> >
> > I would like to add something::  Great software is grown. It evolves. It
> > is constantly rethought, and refactored. The most important thing we can
> > do is listen --  listen to the code, and listen to the User's of that
> > code. Feedback is critical. And reacting to that feedback is the essence
> > of evolution.
> >
> > Over and over, a great many Ant User's keep asking for the same features.
> > E.g. <foreach>, <if>, <unsetproperty>, ${target}, etc., etc. Are
we all
> > misguided souls?? Isn't it possible that we are supplying valid
> > feedback?? Feedback that could take Ant to even greater places??
> >
> > Remember that these User's are just poor souls like me, with real-world
> > problems to solve -- with real deadlines -- often working in large,
> > existing "make" systems. Architectural Purity is often a luxury we cannot
> > afford.
> >
> > Is bifurcating Ant really a valid option??
> >
> > Maybe it is time to let go a little. Like a proud parent seeing your
> > child grow. Not necessarily always in the direction you might choose. But
> > that's just part of being a parent.
> >
> > All that said, Pete, I am a very big fan of Ant. Big enough that I have
> > gone out on a limb to introduce it into a large, complicated build system
> > -- in an organization somewhat intimidated by change.
> >
> > I really appreciate what you, Conor, Stefan, Diane, et al are doing.
> >
> > Thanks for listening,
> > -- Chris



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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