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From Nicolas Lalevée <>
Subject Re: EasyAnt and ProjectHelpers
Date Sat, 25 Aug 2012 09:58:26 GMT

Le 25 août 2012 à 00:28, Jean-Louis Boudart a écrit :

> Hi,
> I have made some expermentations with ProjectHelpers yesterday.
> But first to understand why, i'll give you some points.
> *Understanding ProjectHelpers*
> Ant's core relies on ProjectHelpers to translate a buildFile (it can be
> build.xml or more recently .groovy, or event .java files) into Ant Java
> model. It should understand targets/ extensionPoints, and all other
> elements (UnknownElements as they name it) are considered as typedef or
> taskdefs. ProjectHelper implementation defines if they can parse buildFile
> or antlib.xml.
> *Our problems*
> The default ProjectHelper is ProjectHelper2, it return all the time "true"
> for both methods canParseBuildFile and canParseAntLib (this caused me some
> troubles see below)
> Some ant tasks invokes a static method
> ProjectHelper.configureProject(Project project, File  buildFile). This is
> for example the case of "Ant" task (the one designed to invoke target in
> other buildFile).
> But how could this work in easyant as our entry point is not a build.xml. I
> guess our entry point is most of the time a module.ivy.
> It means people can't use <ant> task or <antcall> (as it relies on <ant>
> under the hood) if they want to invoke targets in other easyant projects.
> This is not really problematic as easyant is responsible of invoking stuff
> on submodules  based on project cross dependencies.
> *Then where is the problem? *
> I've started implementing a sonar plugin [1] using sonar ant task [2].
> The plugin is pretty basic for instance and works only in mono project.
> Then i wanted to make multimodule working. To invoke sonar they need to
> collect informations across subprojects before running project analysis.
> But how could we specify "subprojects" in "pure" ant ?
> While reading the code of their ant task i realised that they were calling
> ProjectHelper.configureProject(Project project, File buildFile).
> This is probably not the easiest way for them to collect informations, i'm
> in discussion with them to make something much more flexible (teasing....).
> *Experimentations*
> By the way this motivated me to experiment stuff with ProjectHelpers.
> Since ant 1.8.2, you can have multiple project helpers. This was introduced
> to support any combinaisons of import (build.xml importing .groovy ant file
> etc...).
> I've commited a new projectHelper named ModuleIvyProjectHelper. It can
> parse files ending with ".ivy" and cannot parse antlib. For the parsing
> logic it uses EasyAntEngine under the hood.
> I don't know if we should move code from EasyAntEngine to this
> ProjectHelper, as this would probably create a circular dependency between
> the two classes.
> I don't know either if this ProjectHelper makes sense, that's why it isn't
> registered in ProjectHelperRepository by default.
> While implementing it i encountered a limitation on ProjectHelpers, if you
> register ModuleIvyProjectHelper (with api or even with the task) it is not
> taken into account.
> Why ? because default ProjectHelper is the first declared in
> ProjectHelperRepository and it always return true when canParseBuildFile
> method is called.

I think this is not true. In Ant there is an antunit test, and I have seen with the groovy
and AntDSL experiments, we can dynamically register a project helper, and it is taken into
I have re read the code of Ant, and by contruction, PorjectHelper2 is always the last to be
tried. See
If you have issues I guess it is somewhere else.


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