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From Dominique Devienne <>
Subject RE: Ant build file documentation generation, that can resolve <im port > task and target inheritance
Date Fri, 02 Apr 2004 15:49:29 GMT
> From: Daniels, Doug [mailto:Doug.Daniels@GDC4S.Com]
> I was wondering if anyone knew of any good Ant build file document
> generators that can handle Ant 1.6 <import> task and target inheritance? I
> looked on the Apache Ant external tools page and found this tool:
> download it from here:
> This tool doesn't handle 1.6's new features such as the <import...> task
> and target inheritance.

It has been around for a while, so it has caught up yet. No sure it's very
active either, but in any case, it doesn't need the Ant API to work.

> I've also found a really good tool that can visual render your build files
> as dependency graphs. GRAND:
> This tool supports Ant 1.6 and its <import> task and handles target
> inheritance etc. It does all this because it uses the Ant API as opposed
> to just parsing the build file as XML.

IMHO, it would be better to decouple the graph generation from the 'Ant
introspection'. One way to do that would be to serialize back to the XML
the graph of UnknownElements Ant created by parsing the buildfile and all
it's imported builds (recursively).

You'd get an XML document very useful for troubleshooting purposes, and then
AntDoc could simply render that doc to HTML. And grand could (should) use
that same doc, and only deal with graph rendering rather than delving inside
the Ant internals. --DD

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