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From Matt Benson <gudnabr...@yahoo.com>
Subject Re: AW: Using ant as a cross platform java process launcher
Date Tue, 24 Apr 2007 16:32:55 GMT

--- Rick Moynihan <rick@calicojack.co.uk> wrote:

> Jan.Materne@rzf.fin-nrw.de wrote:
> >> So my questions to the ant community:
> >>
> >> * What is commons launcher doing that ANT alone
> isnt?
> > 
> > Personally I havent heard from commons-launcher
> before. As you said it
> > seems
> > that commons-launcher is a modified copy of
> ant-launcher. So the best
> > place
> > to ask this would be (IMHO) the user@commons list.
> > 
> 
> I have already made inquiries on the
> user/dev@commons lists, and I have 
> also tried contacting the project developers
> directly.  Unfortunately I 
> have had little response, which I why I feel that
> perhaps there is some 
> interest within the ANT community.  Hence my posting
> here.

I haven't noticed your inquiries, but I follow those
lists.  I have recently become a Jakarta committer,
and it is my intention to try to become more involved
with commons development, especially with regard to
components forked from Ant (e.g. exec).  So I would
encourage you to post JIRA issues and nag commons-dev
for attention.  Launcher is counted among commons
proper, but if there is little attention to it it's
probably considered to be in maintenance mode.

HTH,
Matt

> 
> > 
> > 
> >> * Can ANT be used as a launch process for Java 
> >> processes/daemons without significant problems?
> > 
> > The ant-launcher is implemented in the package
> oata.launch [1]. It was
> > designed
> > as a replacement to the very heavy start scripts
> (bat,sh...). So it
> > focused on
> > Ant's needs.
> > The launcher [2] does not start any new process -
> it uses the current
> > one. So I dont think that you can launch
> processes/deamons with the
> > launcher. BUT: maybe a buildfile with
> <exec>/<java> and fork="true"
> > would help.
> > 
> > As this is beyond Ant's focus I would not say that
> there are no
> > significant problems. But _maybe_ it works ;-)
> > 
> 
> Thanks for the code pointers.  I'll be sure to take
> a look at them.
> 
> > 
> >> * Is there any interest within the ANT community
> to support this
> >> use-case natively within ANT?
> > 
> > Mmmh - there was a discussion earlier. The only
> future I would see is a
> > base or utility class without any Ant specific
> stuff in ant-launcher
> > which could be reused in Ant's own launcher. I
> think that was the
> > intention in commons-launcher.
> > 
> > But Ant does not want to depend on a 3rd party
> library in that core
> > area. Have in mind: 400+ projects are using Ant
> for their bootstrapping
> > just in Gump ... And having a circular dependency
> between Ant and
> > commons-launcher is also not a good thing ...
> 
> Obviously I understand that ANT is a critically
> important piece of 
> infrastructure for a huge number of projects, and I
> understand that 
> ANT's primary focus is and always will be as a build
> tool.
> 
> My only point is that *MAYBE* if it is not too much
> work, ANT can be 
> adapted to also fill this role.  I have looked at
> other projects such as:
> 
> * http://classworlds.codehaus.org/launchusage.html
> *
>
http://wrapper.tanukisoftware.org/doc/english/introduction.html
> 
> However I personally feel that reusing ANT build
> files for this sort of 
> thing is a more elegant solution, as it can leverage
> knowledge of ANT 
> for configuration of classpaths, properties, etc...
> 
> *If* the ant-launcher could be modified to support
> this use-case without 
> any external dependencies etc, I feel it would
> nicely fill a need in the 
> Java community.  Obviously adopting ANT to a task it
> was not designed 
> for is not a decision that should be taken lightly,
> but I feel it would 
> be valuable, and can't see why it should impact
> ANT's use as a build tool.
> 
> At the end of the day, I like commons launcher and
> would be completely 
> happy with it, if it had a community behind it,
> willing to fix the few 
> bugs I have encountered and drive some more
> features.
> 
> So, my current options appear to be either:
> 
> 1. Suggest the ANT project adopts the use-case of an
> application launcher.
> 
> 2. Patch commons-launcher myself (which I may well
> do) and persuade the 
> project maintainers to accept my patches (unlikely
> given the projects 
> lack of developers/community).
> 
> 3. Fork commons-launcher and maintain it outside of
> Apache.
> 
> The first suggestion is the lowest cost to me, as it
> means others can 
> maintain, run and manage the project.  I appreciate
> that many factors 
> are likely to prevent this.  If ANT can be modified
> in the manner you 
> suggest, what are the barriers?
> 
> The other two options require a significant
> investment of my (and 
> hopefully others) time.
> 
> What does the ANT community think?
> 
> 
> R.
> 
>
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