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From Francis Galiegue <>
Subject Feature requests: include ant-contrib, unordered file sets, "cp"-like copy task
Date Tue, 02 Dec 2008 14:53:07 GMT
Hello list,

I've been working with ant for three years now, and have implemented from 
scratch a build system that works fine. We use ant 1.6.5.

However, I have found myself using "external" utilities more than once because 
of some limitations/unexpected behaviors, so I'd like to know what's cooking 
for the next version(s) of ant.

1. ant-contrib

I find myself using ant-contrib extensively throughout the project for the 
following tags:

* var,
* for,
* assert,
* try/catch,
* if/then/else,
* propertyregex

I especially find var and if/then/else useful (in fact, must-haves), and find 
the use of for/propertyregex much, much easier (much more natural) to use 
than ant's mappers when handling complex file renaming (OK, the fact that I 
know regexes quite well also helps).

Are there plans to include ant-contrib in ant itself?

2. Unordered file sets

We have to concatenate JavaScript files into one big file and then minify it. 
The list of files to minify is within a file itself. So, I first tried to use 
the concat task with <fileset dir="thebasedir" includesfile="thefilelist"/>.

The problem is, this reorders the file list in alphabetical order and we don't 
want that! Is there a plan to have unordered file sets (which is a pleonasm 
anyway, since a set has no order by definition)?

3. "cp"-like copy task

Here's a question: how do you do, with ant, the equivalent of this command:

cp -r */src/java/* dstdir/

Well, I have struggled for more than one hour trying to do this, and couldn't.
So I gave up, and resorted to using <exec>... Resulting in a non portable way 
of doing things, but it's very simple and it works.

It would be very, very useful to have such a task by default.

Have fun!
Francis Galiegue
Ingénieur système
Mob : +33 (0) 6 83 87 78 75
Tel : +33 (0) 1 78 94 55 52
40 avenue Raymond Poincaré
75116 Paris

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