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From Keith Davidson <>
Subject RE: List of frequently found gotchas
Date Tue, 09 Mar 2004 08:49:23 GMT
Hi Jan,

Apologies for the use of colloquial English.  By "gotchas", I mean, things 
that catch you [in a trap].  Gotcha - a joining of "got ya", ie "got you", 
as in "caught you".

Thanks for the links.  However, I think the sheer wealth of information 
available, much of it repeating each other, simply highlights the problem 
that I am talking about.  Every time I go to do something different in Ant, 
my first point of reference is the user manual that comes with the download 
of Ant, ie the, and it is here that I would 
like to see a heading for Gotchas (or perhaps, Tips).  Things such as:

1) The <copy> task does not copy file permissions in Unix 
environments.  Use, either:
The <copy> task, followed by the <chmod> task,
or, if you don't know the permissions, but just want to preserve what they 
are, don't use the <copy> task, instead, use:
<exec executable="bash"><arg line="-c 'cp -f -p ${src_dir}/* 

2) The <java> task will not list full details of Exceptions unless you use 
fork="yes" within the <java ...> task

I think these also belong on the relevant manual pages (eg, and I don't mean as a 
footnote on the bottom of the page that you might notice if you actually 
read the whole page from start to finish, but at the top, as the first 
thing you read, perhaps as a big red warning (because, as you know, nobody 
rtfm in its entirety).

Both of these problems are examples of things that I stumbled upon, but 
only solved by asking mailing lists, and both of them, surely, are things 
that are regularly stumbled upon.  I am sure there are more, they are just 
the two that I have found so far.

Another thing that could go on a Tips page, would perhaps be the existence 
of the <fixcrlf> task.


At 03:33 PM 9/03/2004, wrote:
> > I don't know if any Ant developers are listening on this list,
>I think most (or all) of the committers are listening :-)
> > but may I
> > politely suggest, that if a list of Frequently Found Gotchas
> > was given as
> > part of the Ant user documentation, then the volume of
> > traffic on this list
> > might well drop dramatically.  Just an idea.
>New ideas are always welcome.
>I´m not sure about the meaning of "Gotcha" in this context
>(my translator didn´t gave me enough infos :), but maybe
>some of the existing resources are not well known (although
>they are listed on the website):
>* The manual :-)
>   and part of the distro
>* FAQ
>* FAQ @ jGuru
>* Wiki
>* Forum @ jGuru
>We could add something to the manual, but you´ll be suprised
>how often questions are asked you you could answer "rtfm" :-)
>(ok, we are more politely here...)

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