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From Francis Galiegue <>
Subject Re: ant for and foreach tasks use them or not
Date Mon, 12 Jan 2009 15:08:17 GMT
Le lundi 12 janvier 2009, Stefan Bodewig a écrit :
> On 2009-01-12, Francis Galiegue <> wrote:
> > The more it goes, the more I'm skeptical about this "different development
> > model" schism between ant and ant-contrib.
> Ant == community driven ASF project
> ant-contrib == "benevolent dictator" style project with external
>                contributions

Well, err, every community has a "benevolent dictator" ultimately, doesn't 
it? :p Even if this "benevolent dictator" happens to be a committee. No 
offense meant ;)

> > Or is there also a license compatibility problem?
> ant-contrib uses the older 1.1 version of the Apache (Software)
> License, that shouldn't be an issue.  IP could be an issue since the
> ant-contrib project (like most any open source project outside the
> bigger foundations) accepted patches without asking for proper
> legaleese - I'm not blaming ant-contrib, this is how most projects do
> it.

OK, I can understand that. But is the original ant-contrib creator/current 
maintainer reachable at all? Does its current license ask that the 
contributors be named verbatim, or is a "project-wide" courtesy enough to 
include the code?

> The problem (if there really is one) is two-sided.
> On the one hand ant-contrib contains some tasks that would never ever
> make it into Ant because they are in direct violation of the Ant
> developer's design decisions (<var>) and on the other hand code from
> ant-contrib needed to be properly contributed to the ASF, which
> involves having people sign paper work that you may not know how to
> reach.

I really don't understand the first point. It is very, very limiting. Heck, 
even make allows "variables" to be redefined along the way (provided you 
prefix their initial declaration appropriately), so why can't ant do it? What 
motivated this restriction in the first place? Because it _is_ a restriction 
as far as I'm concerned. I cannot source an external property file if a 
property has already been defined before! This is a HUGE limitation, and the 
reason why I use <var>. Why not introduce a "mutable" attribute to 
properties, as in <property name="foo" value="bar" mutable="(yes|no)"> and 
make "no" the default?

As to the second point... Paperwork. Ugh. OK, I don't know about this, but 
(pardon me for being somewhat crude) it sounds ludicrous. Is it _really_ 
needed? IANAL, bear with me.

> Personally I'd prefer to see ant-contrib do a release and have people
> use that over forking ant-contrib anywhere.

Even if ant-contrib is as dead as many people seem to think it is? Is there 
anything at all, right now, preventing the Ant developer community from 
salvaging ant-contrib's code? Again, IANAL.

Sorry if I sound irritating at all,
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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