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From Wayne Stidolph <>
Subject Getting all properties in a complex environment?
Date Thu, 04 Oct 2001 23:40:56 GMT
I'm walking into a build setup with well over 100 build.xml and a couple 
other antfiles, and with properties all over the place. There are tasks 
that build property files that other tasks read, the properties are not 
named according to useful patterns, and so forth. My goal is to 
establish, maintain, and monitor a property naming convention that 
respects scoping (universal.*, project.*, module.*, local.*, etc)

So, I'm looking for advice on how to get a handle on all the property 
usage (setting, reading) in all these files... my default approach right 
now is a shell script that does a find for xml files, greps them for the 
property pattern and puts those lines into a file, then I run 
mostly-manually through the file and figure out which lies represent a 
use, which represent a set, and so forth. This has a couple drawbacks - 
(1) it's a whole-tree static picture, no idea of what *really* affects 
what; (2) it's ugly, hard to for automate report generation; (3) I can't 
see anything useful about the property values at runtime. So I come up 
with some questions -

(1) Is there already a way to dump the properties tree in Ant, at 
various points in the runtime?

(2) Is there some single entry point to the property tree I might grab 
and output using a custom task, perhaps? I could put this 
extended-printf in at various points, maybe...

(3) Is there already some XSL transorm or other report generator around 
that at least extracts the property sets and gets and propertyfiles and 
so forth?

(4) Should I just override Properties and do some kind of logging on 
each actual set/get of any property to produce a "property trace" file 
and process that?

Any advice most gratefully received...

  Wayne Stidolph

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