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From Daniel Barclay <dbarc...@mercator.com>
Subject search-path and drive-letter colons - can Ant handle one-letter d irectory names?
Date Wed, 08 May 2002 15:33:04 GMT

> From: Diane Holt [mailto:holtdl@yahoo.com]
> ... setting your basedir to a hard-coded
> full path seems like a sure-fire way to massively reduce the 
> portability ....

(Yes, I know.  It's just a simple, concrete example to ask how Ant 
evaluates non-absolute pathnames.)

Anyway, back to what I was originally trying to get at:

Given a default drive and directory of "D:\x":

- An Ant search path string of "ccc:/yyy" refers to Windows pathnames 
  "D:\x\ccc" and "D:\yyy", right?

- Then "cc:/yy" refers to "D:\x\cc" and "D:\yy", right?

- Then "c:/y" should refer to "D:\x\c" and "D:\y", rig...uh...hmmm.

Does Ant treat "c:/y" as a two-element search path consisting of 
"c" and "/y", or is it one-element search path referring to "C:\y"?


Hopefully you can see my concerns: 

- If "c:/y" is interpreted as a one-element search path, what string 
  do I use if I want "c" and "/y"?

- What if you have "${prop1}:${prop2}" deep inside a build file and 
  you don't know that later prop1 might be set to "c" and "prop2" to 
  "/y"?



Are Ant's rules for interpreting colons in search path strings
documented publicly (so users can know how to construct build
files that don't break unexpectedly)?

- Does Ant assume that a single letter followed by a colon is a drive
  letter specification and not a single-letter pathname followed by a 
  separating colon?

- Does it depend on whether the drive letter is valid on the given
  system when Ant runs?

- Does is depend on the operating system?  (If one gave "c:/y" when running 
  Ant on Unix, would it be parsed as a single pathname that is invalid, or 
  as two pathnames ("c" and "/y")?)

- Is there any mechanism for forcing interpretation as separate search path 
  elements?  (Always using semi-colons seems to be the answer.)

Maybe the documentation should recommend using ";" as a path separator to
avoid the above ambiguity.  (Well, as long as no one uses ";" in file or
directory names on other platforms...)




Daniel


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