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From Stephen McConnell <>
Subject Re: pros and cons!
Date Tue, 20 Jul 2004 03:25:00 GMT
Inger, Matthew wrote:

> On your cons:
> 1.  I disagree that it's not as powerful as batch/shell scripts.
>     In fact, given that you can run any os command, I think it's more
>     powerful.  And there are some external tasks allowing you to run scripts
>     in an arbitrary command interperator
> 2.  The reasoning i usually get when asking this question is that loops,
> conditionals
>     can complicate the script, and are against the philosophy of what ANT is
> supposed
>     to be.  It's not "supposed" to be a scripting language.  That being
> said, there are
>     3rd party tasks that can deal with conditionals in a more programatic
> way
>     (such as <if>), and perform looping (<foreach>).
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Mark Bram []
> Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 9:26 AM
> To: Ant
> Subject: Ant: pros and cons!
> Hi All,
> I am writing an intro for ANT and I want to justify why it is such a  
> useful tool.
> Some may find the statements below provocative: they are meant to be. I  
> want to find out if and/or why they are untrue. This is a learning process  
> for me too!
> Pro:
>   - Ant is a Java based build tool. Like java, it is platform independent.
>   - It has a large variety of common tasks already catered for.
>   - It is extensible: not that hard to create your own tasks.
> Cons:
>   - It is not as powerful as batch/shell scripts. If you are not regularly  
> using different OS's, why bother?
>   - It is not designed to offer decision or looping structures as easily as
> they are offered in batch/shell scripts? Why?
> Do you have any pros/cons to add? Any thoughts on what I have listed?
> Any comments would be most appreciated!

Additional Pros and Cons:

Common tasks seems to solid and reliable and backed by an active and 
engaged community.

Recent additions in 1.6.1 make ant extensibility much easier to manage 
but a formal plugin model is still missing (or at least the present 
product mix and docs don't present a clear pure ant solution).

Notion of offline versus online seems to be missing (something that 
enables isolation of a build with concern for things like the side 
effects of a get).

Pros and Cons I'm not sure about:

Notions of a artifact repository (thing produced and consumed by builds) 
is not something understood within ant.  It is existed then you could 
consider path objects that acquired real absolute paths from abstract 
repository artifact identifiers - which would potentially improve 
significantly the reusabiliy of build.xml files.

Cheers, Steve.

> Rob
> :)
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