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From Matt Benson <>
Subject Re: Thinking in Ant...
Date Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:46:24 GMT
--- Stefan Bodewig <> wrote:
> Even if it isn't the right verb, a simple <copy> on
> your source
> fileset would already do if it knew how to append -
> as would <concat>
> with a nested <redirector>.  I'd probably prefer the
> <concat> approach
> since an appending copy sounds strange.

OT:  I was thinking about the <concat> thing and it
occurred to me that it might be counterintuitive to
the very meaning of the word "concatenate" to be able
to send the contents of multiple files to different
destinations.  Maybe a generic

  <fileset />
  <redirector />

would make more sense?

> For the more uncommon cases there is <for>, which
> really isn't
> anything evil.  If overused it may just lock people
> into a scripting
> solution where a built-in set based solution exists,
> something like
> people looping over their source files invoking
> <javac> on one file at
> a time.  That's one of the reasons <for> is not a
> first class citizen
> in Ant.

I have long since accepted the place of <for> and
company as being outside stock Ant, and I support
maintaining the purity of the model.  But in defense
of scripting with Ant, silly XML patents aside... if
you one day dropped your proverbial hammer and it
landed on a screw and twisted it in perfectly...
you've just discovered that this hammer performs a
screwdriver's job admirably.  I find that a great many
tasks are simpler in Ant than elsewhere, and I can't
find a reason to waste my time coming up with other
ways to do something that Ant can already do well and
reliably.  Now, I wouldn't deploy an Ant buildfile and
call it a production application, but you'd better
believe I'll use it for little utility jobs to make my
work easier.

Rant concluded... 


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