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From "Dick, Brian E." <>
Subject RE: Problems with exec task
Date Mon, 30 Jan 2006 20:10:58 GMT
Actually, wscript.exe is usually associated with Windows scripting
languages. I suggested cscript.exe because it is more appropriate for
console usage. Wscript.exe displays debug and echo messages in dialog
boxes. Cscript.exe displays messages as text.

BTW, this is a Windows thing and doesn't have much to do with ant.

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Loughran [] 
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 2:30 PM
To: Ant Users List
Subject: Re: Problems with exec task

Rhino wrote:
> Thank you both for your suggestions, Clifton and Brian, but I'm afraid

> neither one worked!
> When I tried this from my command line:
>    cmd.exe start "C:\Documents and Settings\Rhino\My 
> Documents\LaunchWdMacro.vbs" Fred Flintstone
> All I got was:
>    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
> The VBScript, which I've changed slightly to make Word visible 
> (previously, the script said to make Word invisible), did not even
> up Word, let alone run the Word macro. Yet the VBScript works fine if
> do this on the command line:
>    "C:\Documents and Settings\Rhino\My Documents\LaunchWdMacro.vbs"
> Flintstone

The command line is special. There is an ENV varialble, PATHEXT which 
declares which things to start, using ::ShellExecute , which does the 
mapping from file ext to program, and runs the program with the program 
passed in. If you add something like .mp3 to PATHEXT, then all you need 
to do is type in the name of your mp3 file and will autorun in winamp or

other chosen player.

1. look up the binding in the registry to find out which app gets run 
next to .vbs. I dont know what it is, but you need to recreate the 
command line.

2. I have an exe , "open.exe" that takes any file arg and hands it off 
to ShellExecute. I can email it to you if you like, though its only 
about three lines of code, something like

#include "shell32.h"

void main(char*[] argv) {


> Also, when I tried doing this:
>    <property name="vbs.script" value="c:\Documents and
> Documents\LaunchWdMacro.vbs"/>
>    <exec executable="cscript.exe" spawn="true">
>        <arg line="${vbs.script} Fred Flintstone"/>
>    </exec>

file binding for VBS is, unless changed (I normally bind it to notepad 
for security reasons):

C:\WINDOWS\System32\WScript.exe "%1" %*

I wouldnt use the spawn option; all output gets dropped.

> The exec ran without any error messages but the Word document was 
> unchanged. Word was not launched and the macro obviously was not run.
> Why won't any of these approaches work, except for the batch file that

> runs the VBScript??
> I've never worked with VBScript before and I've only started working 
> with Word and Visual Basic for the first time in the last couple of
> so maybe there is some kind of fundamental thing I have not done in 
> terms of setting up my environment but everything works dandy from the

> command line so this feels like an Ant problem, not a Windows problem.

its an shell integration problem, which is something java itself is weak

on. There is a limit to what ant can do with the minimal underpinnings, 
but as a reward we dont have to worry about windows internals, or care 
about what win vista is going to do with unsigned binaries.

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