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From "Knuplesch, Juergen" <>
Subject AW: Conditional target problem
Date Wed, 18 Aug 2010 11:08:04 GMT
I use the <if> from ant-contrib combined with antcall or antcallback to have more flexibility
on calling targets.

I use properties like ${nocvs} to not use CVS, even when the target is executed (again using
<if> or unless)


I have unless properties for CVS, junit, javadoc, compile .....


In your case:

    <target name="checkout-sources" depends="other stuff" unless="nocvs">

        <!-- takes several minutes -->


In "other stuff" you have to introduce other unless properties probably.


Now you run

ant -Drelease.number=... -Dnocvs=true target1" 


whil you run target2 this way


ant -Drelease.number=... target2" 



-----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Niklas Matthies [] 
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 18. August 2010 00:35
Betreff: Conditional target problem


We have something like the following (target bodies omitted):


    <target name="checkout-sources" depends="other stuff">

        <!-- takes several minutes -->


    <target name="determine-release-number"

        depends="checkout-sources" unless="release.number">

        <!-- determines release.number from sources -->


    <target name="target1" depends="determine-release-number">

        <!-- needs release.number -->


    <target name="target2" depends="checkout-sources, target1">

        <!-- needs sources and target1 -->


The problem: "ant -Drelease.number=... target1" causes

checkout-sources (and its dependencies) to be executed although there

is no need for it, as release.number is already defined.


We can't put the unless="release.number" on checkout-sources (and its

dependencies) because it would break target2 when release.number is



We can't make checkout-sources a macro (called both by target2 and by

determine-release-number) because of all its dependencies, and also

because an up-to-date check on it is highly non-trivial, so in the

target2 case it might end up being executed twice. 


We _could_ duplicate the body and the dependencies of checkout-sources

into determine-release-number (and remove the latter's dependency on

checkout-sources), but I'd have to do that for quite a number of the

dependencies as well, as they contribute to the expensiveness of

checkout-sources. The result would be a lot of redundancy, effectively

duplicating a dependency subgraph.


Is there a way to solve the problem, within a single Ant instance,

without creating redundancies?


-- Niklas Matthies



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