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From Johan Vromans CPWR <johan.vrom...@nl.compuware.com>
Subject Re: Ant: pros and cons!
Date Tue, 20 Jul 2004 07:56:17 GMT
> Pro:
>  - Ant is a Java based build tool. Like java, it is platform independent.

Despite popular belief (or marketing hype, just a way of looking at it) Java is 
not platform independent. There are Java implementations for selected platforms, 
and if you are fortunate enough to run a well supported platform it _seems_ like 
platform independent. But Java's level of abstraction is just too high, and many 
serious applications need to resort to native code, breaking the whole 'write 
once, run everywhere' idea.

> 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?

The Ant design team has always stated that they wanted the Ant control language 
to be descriptive, and not a scripting (or programming) language. And failed. If 
you have variables (properties) and conditions (if="propname") you have a 
programming language. So you better go for a real programming language. The 
current situation is that we have the worst of all: it's not a programming 
language, it's not a scripting language, it's not even XML anymore.

Besides, XML is designed for computers to exchange information in a well-defined 
manner. It should not be hand-crafted.

I think Ant could be made (more) useful/succesful with a high-level build 
description language _intended for human production_, in particular when 
combined with a nice GUI tool.

-- Johan

The above statements and opinions are strictly my own, and do not necessarily 
represent the views of Compuware.

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