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From Matt Benson <>
Subject <import> inheritance and source control
Date Wed, 07 Jan 2004 22:57:47 GMT
    I have a set of related projects which range in
complexity but all are built similarly to one another.
 These projects can be built independently (they are
not written in Java).  The simplest of these projects
can be built using an Ant file I have named base.xml;
more complex projects can be built by overriding
specific targets in base.xml, brought in via Ant 1.6's
<import>.  We are using PVCS for source control, and
as usual, that part is not negotiable.

    The approach I am taking regarding source control
is to store base.xml in one central location.  All
<import>s by "child" build files use the current
directory; this is achieved by the use of "pointers"
in PVCS that treat base.xml in its true location as if
it lives with the project in question, and makes it
easy to pull down a whole project at once, and run the
build with the unadorned "ant" command, the aim being
to make everything as simple as possible for
Configuration Management.

    My dilemma:  The simple projects should use
base.xml in the manner of a build.xml.  PVCS
apparently does not have any means of creating a
"pointer" to a file with a different name than that
associated with the actual archive.  This would be
ideal, so that the basic "build.xml" would inherit all
changes to "base.xml".  As far as I can tell it cannot
be done.  PVCS has some triggering capabilities by
which I had hoped to automatically apply updates made
to one file to the other, but I was unable to make
headway on this and Merant tech support was not much

    What, if any, ideas occur to anyone who actually
got to the end of this post, especially anyone
particularly knowledgeable about PVCS?


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