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From Shawn Castrianni <>
Subject boolean expressions in if/unless conditions
Date Sat, 31 Oct 2009 06:51:13 GMT
I realize that the elements that support if conditions (like the include elements in a fileset
OR target elements themselves) are expecting a simple ant property.  ANT then will do the
very simple existence check on that property.  If it has been defined, the if condition returns
true and the unless condition returns false.  I have always wished that the if and unless
conditions supported full Boolean expressions.  Usually the response to this request is to
use the condition task and preprocess a complex Boolean expression condition into a single
property to set.  This is fine, but sometimes it is more efficient to just want to put the
expression right in the if/unless condition itself.

I would like to propose that ANT include JEP 2.4.1 jar into the ANT distribution.  JEP 2.4.1
is the last known version of this very handy mathematical expression parser/evaluator that
was open source and GPL'ed.  All newer versions are commercial.  By including JEP jar into
the ANT distribution, supporting full Boolean expressions in if/unless conditions would be
trivial since all the hard grammar parsing and evaluating is already handled by JEP.

Just a suggestion.

Shawn Castrianni

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