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From "bill/wilandra" <>
Subject RE: Exception in Style
Date Tue, 25 Apr 2006 15:30:55 GMT
Have you looked at the Forrest project to see how they use ant.
They generate a web site from XML input files and use ant to control the
process. I have not drilled down into their use of ant but it may give you
some ideas.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Jeffries [] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 5:21 AM
To: Ant Users List
Subject: Re: Exception in Style

On Tuesday, April 25, 2006, at 8:00:53 AM, Steve Loughran wrote:

>> That would be handy ... in fact it would be handy if Ant just let me 
>> assert the end state and did the job. ;->

> I dont disagree, since that is effectively what the latest generation 
> of configuration management tools do. The hard part is determining 
> which actions to take to get a machine into the state you want from 
> its current state, which rapidly approaches ai-hard problems for high 
> level descriptions, but is more tractable for low level descriptors. 
> The other problem is that developers and sysadmins often operate in a 
> procedural mode.

I suppose it does get hard. I would be thinking of a sort of XSL style of
declaration, except that one bit asserts the end state and the other asserts
transformations that accomplish certain subgoals.

I can see it'd still get hard in the theoretical sense. On the other hand,
it might not be hard in the practical sense, and setting up a script
manually is bloody hard (in the technical sense) too. ;->

>>> If you check out Ant from SVN, there is an antunit antlib that 
>>> provides a set of assertions for testing things. I'll cover it the 
>>> forthcoming 2nd edition of Java Development with Ant, albeit in the 
>>> context of testing tasks you write yourself.
>> I'll watch for the assertions to become part of the release, and for 
>> the book. As I'm just using Ant for this one task in my life, 
>> creating my web site, I may choose not to go down the SVN path.

> ahh, go on, use a <get> or two just to check state :)

Life's so short. Maybe if the weather's too wet for top down driving ...

Ron Jeffries
It is better to attempt something great and fail that attempt, than to
attempt to do nothing and succeed.
--Cookie, Garden Court Chinese Restaurant, Hamburg, MI

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