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From Jay Burgess <>
Subject RE: Improving the manual
Date Thu, 28 Jul 2005 15:12:12 GMT

While I think we're generally saying the same thing, I think a lot of people
agree with Roedy on this one.  Maybe if you've been using Ant for a while,
everything's clear and the current docs work for you.  But coming in as a
newbie, I believe there's more that could be done to reduce the learning curve.

As a "for instance", I spent over an hour yesterday trying to figure out
"macrodef", how it's different from just defining a new task, what the
differences are between attributes and elements, where this "@@" and "$$" syntax
came from?!?, etc.  I believe there's a nice middle-ground between making the
docset both a tutorial and a reference (kind of like "Java in Nutshell", if
you're a Java person).

And I too would love to help out, if a group was started to work down this road.


| Jay Burgess [Vertical Technology Group]
| "Essential Technology Links"

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon Chappell [] 
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:47 AM
To: Ant Users List
Subject: Re: Improving the manual

On 7/27/05, Roedy Green <> wrote:
> The big problem with the Ant manual is the people who wrote it knew
> too much. I can see various ways to make it more intelligible to the
> first timer:

Well, I actually like the Ant manual just the way it is. I find it
very useful and I get pretty much what I need from it. So please don't
force it to change.

Now, that said, I am in favour of the creation of documentation more
directly targetted at the first time or still quite new user. There
are a number of introductions to ant, but something that would take
it's time and that explained the concepts would be very useful.

I'd volunteer to help, but I'm actually working on some tutorials for
the Groovy folks.



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