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From Dominique Devienne <>
Subject RE: "ant -n", How to display tasks and args WITHOUT executing the m
Date Fri, 07 Nov 2003 18:09:09 GMT
> From: Olivier Vierlinck []
> > From: Stefan Bodewig []
> > > From: Olivier Vierlinck []
> > > This is probably a simple and common question
> > common, yes - simple, no.
> > > Is there in Ant something similar to the "make -n" option,
> > > displaying what Ant WOULD execute for a given target and
> > > configuration, without actually executing it, ?
> > No.
> > The reason is that Ant doesn't know what it would do without actually
> > doing it.  <jar> can't tell you which files it would add to a jar
> > without javing <javac> compile them first and so on ...
> Yes, I understand this part!
> But I think it would already be very useful information to know that Ant
> would start 'jar' with such and such args, from such place and so on.
> After that, we could say that it's up to the user to know what is a 'jar'
> task, what it does and when.

But isn't actually executing the tasks the best way to find out what they
will do ;-)

Some people are worried that they will wreak havoc when running their Ant
build, but beside doing a misplaced <delete>, most tasks are inoffensive,
and if like me you take care to have your project/work under CM control
(like CVS) and output your *all* build products in a directory separate from
the rest of the project (I use a build/ directory at the project top-level
myself), then you can only mess up that build/ directory.

Few Ant users seem to request or need this functionality. Even back when I
was doing makefiles, I only used make -n seldom. I've never been that
worried about what will happen, and just do it... --DD

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