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From "Bill Rich" <>
Subject RE: winning the case for ANT
Date Tue, 19 Oct 2004 19:39:49 GMT
XML files may suffer somewhat in readibility, but, there is XSL to help with

For example:
I found the
/ant2html.xsl. It does some formatting on an Ant build file and produces an
HTML file that is displayable in a browser. I was not satisfied with the way
it worked so I did a hack on it to add formatting for macrodef and changed
the way it formatted some of the other elements. You can get my hack at My hack works on
Mozilla and IE6. It does not format scriptdef and has some minor problems
with indentation but it does make the file more readable. It produces an
index of targets so you can go directly to any target to see what it does.
You cannot edit the build file from the browser.

To use one of the XSL files, place the XSL file in the same directory as the
Ant build file and add the following line to the Ant build file right after
the <?xml line:
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="./wfrant2html.xsl"?>

Thanks.  Bill 

Bill Rich
Wilandra Consulting LLC
1325 Addiewell Place
San Jose, CA  95120-3905
phone:      +1 408 268-2452
mobile:     +1 408 410-9713
Santa Cruz: +1 831 464-9007
fax:        +1 413 669-9716

-----Original Message-----
From: [] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 9:24 AM
To: Ant Users List
Cc: Ant Users List
Subject: RE: winning the case for ANT

a few additional 1p comments;

 Ant is a 'disruptive' tool e.g. many developers can quickly get on with
their work using the tool whilst the declaritive format makes composition
trivial; hands up for those who have spent hours plastering make builds
together...PERL and make vie for the low scanability award...though this
doesnt mean that Ant doesnt also suffer from low readibility...there are
whole groups of developers who find XML an impenetrable format...I am not of
that group.

 IF a project is big enough in scope its quite common for no one tool to
solve the build problem...this might be a 'warm body' problem which means u
need to take the ready skills of those around you...or perhaps there are
many complicated problem domains; politics aside...why not just use both Ant
and make? note: Anthill pro integrates these two nicely btw

 In development teams, democracy tends to rule...which I would beware of;

3 alternate analagies of teams working together are; 

Chief Surgeon: One or few highly talented individuals with specialists

Football (variations being real or american): Team approach, with medium
level of skill throughout the pitch...with the coach as manager. Success is
built on team playing well together though directed by management.

another variation of Football is the;

Orchestra: Sequencing and coordination of a group of highly talented
individuals performed by conductor

If your man is the 'coach', 'surgeon' or 'conductor' I would listen to
him/her...otherwise if u think productivity will be limited by Ant let em
use Make locally...its easy enough to invoke in Ant.

Ant is wickedly useful outside of the context of building
measurement of a tools usefulness and applicability is the extent to which
it can be ab/used to solve problems quickly...this confuses matters

gl,jim fuller

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