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From Ron Jeffries <>
Subject Re: Exception in Style
Date Tue, 25 Apr 2006 12:21:06 GMT
On Tuesday, April 25, 2006, at 8:00:53 AM, Steve Loughran wrote:

>> That would be handy ... in fact it would be handy if Ant just let me
>> assert the end state and did the job. ;->

> I dont disagree, since that is effectively what the latest generation of
> configuration management tools do. The hard part is determining which
> actions to take to get a machine into the state you want from its 
> current state, which rapidly approaches ai-hard problems for high level
> descriptions, but is more tractable for low level descriptors. The other
> problem is that developers and sysadmins often operate in a procedural
> mode.

I suppose it does get hard. I would be thinking of a sort of XSL
style of declaration, except that one bit asserts the end state and
the other asserts transformations that accomplish certain subgoals.

I can see it'd still get hard in the theoretical sense. On the other
hand, it might not be hard in the practical sense, and setting up a
script manually is bloody hard (in the technical sense) too. ;->

>>> If you check out Ant from SVN, there is an antunit antlib that provides
>>> a set of assertions for testing things. I'll cover it the forthcoming
>>> 2nd edition of Java Development with Ant, albeit in the context of 
>>> testing tasks you write yourself.
>> I'll watch for the assertions to become part of the release, and for
>> the book. As I'm just using Ant for this one task in my life,
>> creating my web site, I may choose not to go down the SVN path.

> ahh, go on, use a <get> or two just to check state :)

Life's so short. Maybe if the weather's too wet for top down driving

Ron Jeffries
It is better to attempt something great and fail that attempt,
than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.
--Cookie, Garden Court Chinese Restaurant, Hamburg, MI

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