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From "Steve Loughran" <>
Subject Re: Ant Perversions [was RE: Properties are causing problem in 1.5]
Date Sun, 01 Dec 2002 06:04:37 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Stirling" <>
To: "Ant Users List" <>
Sent: Saturday, November 30, 2002 17:37
Subject: Ant Perversions [was RE: Properties are causing problem in 1.5]

> I've intentionally sensationalized the subject.  Don't be offended.

too late :)

> Why use Ant for things like telnet, VSS, .NET, looping scripts, etc.?  I'm
> all for Ant as a build tool and tool for general development-related Java
> stuff like deploying apps or running command line, non-interactive, Java
> tools.  But Ant's lousy for working with interactive programs, controlling
> GUIs, and anything requiring complex flow control logic.  People in denial
> of this fundamental truth will do anything to compensate for Ant's
> limitations.

I dont loop. But I use <telnet> for remote deployment, shortly before I run
my httpunit tests. But all I telnet is the command to invoke the ant file I
have have just uploaded, a build file to deploy on the target app server a
properties file tells me is on that system. So it aint that complex at all;
though a better remote ant api would be nice, even though ops would through
a wobbly at the idea.

> NOTE: I did ask on the sed-users for a Java version of sed and got no
> reply -- an interesting idea for a Java open source opportunity, IMO).

for all its ugliness, sed has a place.

> Some people want Ant to do everything (or want to do everything from
> Ant), in hopes of achieving portability perfection in a cross-platform
> world, even at the expense of horrible hacks in custom tasks, or tying the
> build to OS-specific tools through <apply/> or <exec/>.

what if you are execing or applying a perl script or a gnu command? You
arent totally tied down there.

> Is the sense of where to draw the line and admit Ant's limitations a
> of taste?  Experience?  Laziness?  Or what?

Maybe we just like the idea of doing everything in java?

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