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From Steve Loughran <>
Subject Re: Property dereference via id gives odd result
Date Tue, 25 Apr 2006 16:31:26 GMT
barf barf wrote:
> I am attempting to make use of the property deferencing trick described 
> in "Java Development with Ant", and am seeing something odd. Here's a 
> short example:
> <project name="test" basedir=".">
>    <tstamp>
>        <format property="${}.STARTTIME" 
> pattern="MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm aa"
>                    id="ts"/>
>    </tstamp>
>    <property name="project.ts" refid="ts"/>
>    <echo message="${project.ts}"/>
> </project>
> produces the following output with ant 1.6.5:
> Buildfile: build.xml
>     [echo]$CustomFormat@1d63e39
> I realize that 'id' is not listed as an attribute for the format 
> element, I just tried it to see if it
> might work. I would have expected an error rather than what I got.

id is a secret attribute that anything can have.

> So, that said, anyone have a mean with ant along to set the tstamp 
> property based on some other
> property and then be able to access it ? 

You are trying to set the name of the target property dynamically? Yes, 
that works. The hard thing is reading it back, because you can't go


There is an ant-contrib task that can do that kind of double-dereference.


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