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From Vimil Saju <>
Subject Re: Target Execution Sequence
Date Sun, 30 Oct 2011 02:11:44 GMT
It would be helpful if you could attach the build file along with the mail.

From: Rhino <>
To: ant-user <>
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2011 5:47 PM
Subject: Target Execution Sequence

I'm having a perplexing problem and I'm hoping someone here can help me understand whatever
I'm missing. I was moderately fluent with Ant at one point but I've been away from it a 
while and have probably just forgotten some fundamental that I need to know.

Here's the deal. I have an Ant script that is displaying an AntForm. The AntForm contains
some checkboxes that are supposed to make me keep or omit three particular paragraphs in a
document I am writing later in the script. Basically, I use the AntForm to set specific booleans,
one for each of the three paragraphs, in a Java source file to true or false. Then, I generate
the document with a program that I've written and that program either writes the specified
paragraphs or omits them based on the values of the booleans. At least, that's what's SUPPOSED
to happen.

In reality, the booleans are being seen by the program that generates the document as true
regardless of what has been done with the AntForm. Therefore, all three special paragraphs
always appear in the document even when I've asked for some or all of them to be omitted.

This baffles me because I actually display the contents of the Java source file to myself
in the Ant script before and after the execution of the program that generates the document
and the values of the three booleans and they have the correct values. For instance, I can
set the three booleans to false, true and false respectively via the AntForm and that's exactly
how they appear in the Java source file just before I generate the document.  (Then I reset
the values to their defaults (all three true) then display them to myself and they are all
true.) However, when I write the values of the booleans within the program that is generating
the document, they are invariably all true, even if they have been set to different values.

I don't understand why I'm getting this misbehaviour.

My working theory is that Ant is NOT executing the tasks within the script in the expected
order. When I add the -verbose and -debug parameters to the Ant Build, I see something that
the task that displays the AntForm is done in its proper sequence, namely first within the
script. However, the tasks that are to be executed to change the values of the booleans are
NOT executed immediately after the AntForm is displayed but after the compile of the Java
code. The script is displaying the AntForm and letting me check the checkboxes as I like,
then compiling the code and ONLY THEN actually editing the source file to set some of the
booleans to false. I think this explains why the switches are always seen as true by the document-generating
program: the generator is simply not getting the edited version of the source file.

Can anyone confirm that my theory makes sense? Or, if it doesn't, suggest a better explanation?
If I'm on the right track, what is it that I'm not understanding about the execution sequences
of tasks within targets? I had assumed that each task within a target would be executed before
tasks in other targets were started....


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