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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: ant for and foreach tasks use them or not
Date Thu, 08 Jan 2009 15:24:48 GMT
On 2009-01-08, patrick wyss <> wrote:

> so now i found for and foreach from the ant-contrib
> *but*

[disclaimer, I've contributed to ant-contrib and I am an Ant
committer, don't expect an unbiased response]

> 2) some of the other tasks seem rather obscure to me (AntCallBack,
> RunTarget, Throw) so i'm a bit worried of the quality of the contributions

The "obscure" tasks seemed to be useful to some people, ymmv.
RunTarget predates Ant 1.6 and thus macrodef for example, I don't
think it is really used today.

My major problems with ant-contrib today would be that it never had a
proper release (1.0b3 is more than two years old) and seems to be more
or less unmaintained.

There are a few OSS project that use some of the tasks, and I think
some of the tasks (I know people using if, for, trycatch and
outofdate) have been used successfully.  As long as to stick to them,
you'll be fine.  If you happen to encounter problems, it may be
difficult to get them fixed, though.

> 3) for and foreach are existing for a long time already and seem to do
> pretty useful things. so why are they not part of ant itself? is there a
> more ant-y way of doing what they do?
> (appart from writing my own ant task...)

A small (?) part of this is stubbornness of some of the Ant committers
- and I'm in the vocal part of the stubborn fraction. 8-)

Another thing is that the tasks already exist and it would be pretty
silly to duplicate the effort inside Ant.

Yes, the Ant way is to write a custom task, or more generally the Ant
way is to move the iteration into a task rather than have it external.

Your specific problem is extraordinarily commons, though.  A companion
task to <java> that provides what <apply> is to <exec> has been asked
for many times before, I'm pretty certain there is a bugzilla issue
for it[1] - it just seems as if nobofy has found the time to code it
up, yet.



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