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From Dino Valente <>
Subject Re: Including other antfiles
Date Fri, 11 Aug 2000 01:00:43 GMT
At 10:28 AM 8/11/00 +1000, you wrote:
>At 10:17  10/8/00 -0700, you wrote:
>>At 11:52 AM 8/10/00 +1000, you wrote:
>>>Feel free to make meta-Ant if thats what you want. A lot of other people
>>>want it aswell. Ant however is not the place for it.
>>Why is that? We don't want Ant to be used for complex projects or multi
>>projects.  It seems (to me at least) that ant is ideal for doing complex
>>java projects and flushing out the design properly will achieve this
>>without a problem. 
>Ant can only cater to "complex" projects by including complex rules. Start
>adding rules and where would you stop ? You wouldn't stop - you would end
>up with make or worse yet another perl. ick !
>Ant is meant to be simple and readable by anyone. That was it's design
>goal. I see the need for extended version of Ant that includes templates
>and abstract rules but including this in base ant would lead to Ant being
>hard to read and non-simple. Hence It is better to keep this other
>functionality in another tool that expands on Ant. The best ideas so far
>have been to use XSLT to transform a  simpler xml file to build.xml.
>Everyone complains it is not there but as far as I know no one has actually
>started to make it.

I would be happy if ant allowed the ability to include other ant xml files
and nothing else. 

The following allowed for this but doesn't work when it is executed outside
the same directory as the build file since the relative directory gets
messed up (since java doesn't really support changing the current working
directory properly; I could be wrong):

<!DOCTYPE project [
  <!ENTITY common SYSTEM "build.template">

I may have used the word "complex" incorrectly. The scenerio I described is
straight forward and is not complex rules wize. I suppose I could add an
include task and pre process the xml build file first to insert the
included file. Everyone knows what includes mean. There is no confusion
about this. I have no doubt that this issue will be raised again and again
because it is the first things developers encounter when they have more
than one project. 

However, I'm still not convinced that the property values should be set
once (this is one aspect of ant that is not intuitive and people will keep
asking this group the same question all the time).


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