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From Vimil Saju <>
Subject Re: Checking if a Target Exists
Date Fri, 04 Nov 2011 01:56:40 GMT
Ant 1.8 has extension-points which provides something  similar to your use-case

From: Rob Seegel <>
To: Ant Users List <>
Sent: Thursday, November 3, 2011 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: Checking if a Target Exists


  For my project I created a custom task that was basically an extension of runtarget (from
ant-contrib), which worked *almost* the way I wanted. I wanted the following specific case:

  - core skeleton build process in one script, that contained hooks I could use to "extend"
with one or more smaller utility scripts that are also imported to enhance the core build
process by taking advantage of those hooks very much like plug-ins.

The runtarget extension, can run every implementation of a particular target that it finds,
or a few variations. This allows me to define a task that looks for something like "run-test-suite"
or "generate-report" or "initialize" or whatever, and then add however many implementations
that are appropriate for that project. What this allows me to do, is wrap other custom ant
tasks into small utility modules where sensible defaults are established (that can be overridden).
It allows for easier reuse of ant processes.

The final project build script usually ends up being incredibly small, only implementing small
snippets that are absolutely specific to the one build. Most times a scripts is between one
and three imports, and maybe a few property overrides.

Let me take a look at the code tomorrow - perhaps I can share it. It was written for Ant 1.6.5,
but I've also used it for 1.7.*  The basic idea has worked pretty well for me.


On 11/3/11 7:52 AM, Steve Amerige wrote:
> Hi all,
> I want to be able to check if a target exists and hope you can help.  I'm looking for
a generic solution that doesn't rely any knowledge of the target name to be checked.  It
is not possible to modify the target code.  And, I'd like to avoid any solutions that cause
the entire JVM to be loaded (e.g., as with antcall).
> My environment is Ant 1.7 and allows for the use of Ant-Contrib and Groovy.
> Any ideas on how to do this?  Even better, any solutions anyone have to share?!
> Thanks,
> Steve Amerige
> SAS Institute, Deployment Software Development

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