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From Jeff Turner <>
Subject Classpath-based optional compilation (Re: New TagLib, votes please)
Date Tue, 31 Oct 2000 08:03:53 GMT
On Mon, 30 Oct 2000, Jeremy Quinn wrote:
> So, let's try again ....
> Option 1
> 	Install as is, including two new Sun JARs in the distribution.
> Option 2
> 	Provide as a standalone in the contrib directory
> Option 3
> 	Put all code in the LogicSheet, so JARs only required if someone runs it.
> Option 4
> 	Install as in Option 1, without Sun's JARs, using Ant to conditionally
> compile.

Just wondering.. does this optional compilation based on the contents of a
CLASSPATH variable seem a bit.. wrong?

IMHO it would be nicer is there was an explicit flag for each optional

Using the presence of a class in the classpath as an implied flag is
pretty non-intuitive. As a consequence, it's very easy to forget.
Remember when Robin Green was creating the 1.8 distribution, and left out
some xt classes? IMHO, that's a symptom. It's happened to me too, many
times, and I'm sure lots of other people.

What happens when the builder wants some optional modules, but does not
have the requisite jars at hand. Who's to say the build environment is the
same as the deploy environment? Frequently it's not.

Classpaths are inherently evil anyway. Java doesn't allow access to any
other environment variables, for the good reason that many systems (like
Macs) don't have them. To quote from the Java FAQ:

 "It was a design error in JDK 1.0 that programmers had to set the
CLASSPATH environment variable. This should have been set in a property

How do people with Macs currently compile optional stuff into Cocoon?

So basically, I think it's wrong to tie Cocoon's build system to an
environment variable, and especially not for non-intuitive uses such as
flagging the inclusion of optional components.

But then I'm frequently wrong ;)


> Back to you Ladies and Gentlemen.
> regards Jeremy
> -- 
>    ___________________________________________________________________
>    Jeremy Quinn                                           Karma Divers
>                                                        webSpace Design
>                                             HyperMedia Research Centre
>    <>     		 <>
>     <phone:+44.[0].20.7737.6831>        <>

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