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From "Damiano Altomare" <>
Subject R: R: tasks hell
Date Fri, 11 Jul 2003 23:35:08 GMT
Was Ant build to be a programming language?  you've to learn APIs to use
Ant? is it complex like a programming language? Will be Ant the next Java?
Newcomers simply abboring learning a new programming language; they want
some powerfull but also quick and easy tool to use; adding and adding tasks
makes Ant not simple and easy, it makes Ant heavy.

I repeat :"I think that the problem is partially due to the documentation.
When you (a newcomer) start reading a buildfile you've no idea what tasks
you'll encounter
.. when you find a new 'task' you want a quick help about what the 'task'
makes without opening and browsing documentation."

If in Computer science some problem is complex, you've to "divide and
conquer" it; here the problem is "you've a great monolithic set of tasks";
solution "break it formally!".

Using tags families you make Ant extensible; newcomers will think : "Ant in
its basic form has only some core tags, it is very easy lo learn", "Now,
I've to create a file with Ant .. mmmm is a filesystem task I've to
import the filesystem tasks family, and then I can use it"; they
progressively learn. Using import directivies and namespace in the build
file, makes buildfile itself more readable, because you know at the start
what tasks family are used in the buildfile; reading the namespace you get
some quick information about the meaning of the task.

Finally, when newcomers will solve a problem using Ant, newcomers will think
in terms of (some) Ant families and not in terms of (hundreds) of tasks (In
your mind you've to store families and not single tasks).


The problem is that adding and adding tasks to Ant, this makes the "Tasks
Hell" for newcomers.

-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Matt Benson []
Inviato: venerdi 11 luglio 2003 23.30
A: Ant Users List
Oggetto: Re: R: tasks hell

If it's not obvious, a good way to learn tasks is to
browse the documentation, then read about and possibly
try things that sound interesting and/or useful.  Very
much like the best way to learn the Java API, which is
hopefully what led most here to Ant in the first
place.  I don't see that Stefan's post warranted such
a rude, smart remark...



--- Daniel Barclay <> wrote:
> Stefan Bodewig wrote:
> ...
> > Hmm, tasks are listed alphabetically in the
> manual, this allows for a
> > rather short search time IMHO 8-)
> Yeah, so?  The original poster wrote about learning
> tasks, not looking
> one up.
> Daniel
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