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From "Jon Eaves" <>
Subject Re: for-each (another proposal)
Date Tue, 03 Jul 2001 23:33:30 GMT
Hi all,

[ big snip of stuff ]
> No, just a significant amount of frustration.
> [I'm drawing text from another response of yours to this same thread]
> You claim that Peter Vogel is "just droning the same stuff".  How many
> people need to drone the same request before ant-dev considers it a
> reasonable request?  The diversions you provide into natural language
> theory are interesting, but don't have much relevance to the topic at
> hand.

I'm going to have to agree with Peter D here.  One of the frustrations 
that I have with Ant is that it's _not_ consistent.  I would like it to 
be just a transformation language, and not a scripting language, but it
has this weird mish-mash of declarative, conditional and flow.  That 
makes it super hard to learn.

> You state: "I am a believer in doing one thing well. Currently ant does
> too many scripty things and encourages too many bad practices. These
> will hopefully be eliminated in ant2 but who can tell at this stage."
> I question, then, what is it that ant is supposed to do well?  I had
> thought is was a build management system.  How does adding flow control
> (which a number of people have stated is needed for build management)
> somehow break the purity of ant.  I know that I'm repeating a previous
> statement, but what good is a "pure" tool that doesn't address the needs
> of the community it is supposed to serve?

If you want a scripting tool, then I suggest that you try make, jmake or
another derivative, or heaven forbid, take the source-code of ant, and 
create Scripty-Ant(tm) ;-).

I agree with you that the majority of the users wish to have flow control
via if/then/else and looping constructs.  I agree with Peter D that they
probably don't know what they are asking for.  If all you've got is a 
hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

People need to understand that running a project like this is hard,
very hard, and takes up lots of time.  As a maintainer and developer 
of an open source effort, you get lots of "complaints" and very little
positive assistance or feedback.  Occasionally, when you've heard the
same thing a few times, then you can get snippy, we are human after all.

So, my advice is :

a) show some patience on both sides 
b) let the ant-dev team take ant where _they_ want it to go and if you
   don't like the direction, choose another boat.

    -- jon

Jon Eaves <>

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