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From Rhino <>
Subject Target Execution Sequence
Date Sun, 30 Oct 2011 00:47:30 GMT

  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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