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From Conor MacNeill <>
Subject Re: custom classloader for a task
Date Tue, 30 Aug 2005 01:31:11 GMT

Jochen Theodorou wrote:
> Hi all,
> Te problem I have is a little complex but I hope you can help me. Groovy
> has an ant task to compile groovy classes and a task to use groovy from
> within ant see for details.
> But in some enviroments such as in maven with certain plugins we have
> conflicting jars. I mean jars of a different version than needed by
> groovy. For example antlr or asm.
> Our current workaround for the compile task (groovyc) is to fork the VM.
> But this can't be the solution? I mean isn't there a possibility to load
> a task through a custom classloader? It's no problem for me to write
> such a loader, but where to wire it in? I know about the loaderref
> attribute, but as far as I understand this attribute is for reusing a
> classloader. A normal classloader can't be used since a normal
> classloader looks for a class first in the parent and if the parent
> knows the conflicting jar/class then we have the same problem as before.

Since you are passing a classpath to the taskdef above, Ant will create
a classloader to load this task's classes. What classes this classloader
can see will depend on the classloader hierarchy under Maven. I have no
idea what that will be.

It is possible to specify a reverseloader="true" attribute on an Ant
taskdef. It is highly deprecated, unsupported, bad things happen, etc.
It will cause the classloader to consult it's jars first, before those
of its parent.

> I heard that when you do loaderref="root" in a maven project you get the
> ant-loader, but that will be no help if the normal classpath contains a
> conflicting jar for another task. Maybe someone can explain me if a
> classpath from a taskdef is added to the loader reffered by loaderref.
> If so the ant-loader will be polluted too.

No, this does not happen - loaderref and classpath are exclusive, I think.

> I am looking for a really easy to use soultion, don't know if it exists.
> But maybe you can give some hints as I am really no ant/maven expert.
> If there are significant changes in ant in this area since 1.6.2
> pleasetell me too. If you ahve an idea how to solve that problem in a
> completly different way, I would like to hear them.
> btw: of course I know this is no maven list ;)

I presume you've asked the Maven guys about this. I'm not sure what
surrounding classloader structure is in place when Ant tasks run in Maven.

Good Luck.

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