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From "Scott Stirling" <scottstirl...@rcn.com>
Subject Ant Perversions [was RE: Properties are causing problem in 1.5]
Date Sun, 01 Dec 2002 01:37:45 GMT
I've intentionally sensationalized the subject.  Don't be offended.

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've found tools such as sed, grep, and expect, not to mention the benefits
of UNIX shell scripting, to be indispensable assistants to cross-platform
builds, whether it's for scheduling builds in a platform-neutral way, or
customizing reports output from 3rd party tools (like StarTeam diff), or
launching native OS tools like load test tools after a build is deployed.
My answer for platform portability (at least Win32 to UNIX) is Cygwin on
Windows and basic tools on UNIX.  90% or more of the builds are done in Ant,
but things like build scheduling, disk mounting, interactive stuff (telnet),
and post-processing text data in an automated way are done outside of Ant
where there are plenty of pre-Ant tools making this stuff fast and easy to
do.  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).

Some people want Ant to do everything (or want to do everything from within
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/>.

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

Best,
Scott Stirling


> -----Original Message-----
> From: andrew sliwkowski [mailto:asliwk@bea.com]
> Sent: Saturday, November 30, 2002 3:09 PM
> To: Ant Users List
> Subject: RE: Properties are causing problem in 1.5
>
>
> Does anybody have an example of using foreach(2) with parallel?
> We are trying to automate installs of 1-15  machines... Today we basically
> get the list of machines we need to remotely install .. and
> iterate with the
> foreach2 task ...
> which invokes a telnet task which does the remote install... the
> problem is
> that the install takes 10 mins or so to complete..... so we end
> up with upto
> 150 minute wait before we can start the test(s)....
>
> thanks much in advance.
> /drew



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