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Python implementation for Ant

Python implementation for Ant

2007-02-07       - By Steve Loughran
Reply:     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     >>  

Hans Schwaebli wrote:
> Steve Loughran ...
>   If I dislike something it has nothing to do with religion. You can't avoid
discussions by simply stating they are religious.
>   I am not anti-XML in general, but I don't think this format makes any sense
for a scripting or programming language. Even the first creator of Ant today
thinks that choosing XML for writing Ant scripts with it was not the best idea.

I know about JDD's opinions, but I also wonder if he'd written a new
language, whether or not it would have been so successful.

>   I work with Ant since two years so I know about what I write. If I still
think that writing Ant scripts in XML is cumbersome, than it is for me. This is
not to be dismissed as a religious belief but my personal professional
experience with Ant and programming and scripting languages.

sometimes it is pretty fiddly.

>   It would be good that something in the softwar world is official or is at
least mainstream, because bosses attach importance to it.
>   Why not offer writing Ant scripts in Jython and XML? Let developers choose.
But now they have no real choice for Ant scripts, only XML syntax.

Whoever offers it has to take on all maintenance and support costs. Or
leave it to the community.

>   There are a lot of reasons why the XML syntax is not good for writing
scripts in that way. The tool support for XML doesn't help except for the very
basic things like well-formedness.

and separation of elements in XML namespaces. Whatever language you use
needs some scoping mechanism, and ant1.6+ has gone for xmlns, which,
while undeniably awful, does give you the ability to mix libraries
without name clashes, and the new
antlib dynamic library load services.

>   It has no use to argue for deprecating XML for Ant and using Jython instead
to write Ant scripts, if there is no critical mass here.

I dont see the ant team ever deprecating XML. Ant has always an implicit
Java API, though there are less guarantees of stability in the Java APIs
than the XML one. That's important: we strive to make build files
consistent over time, and do the same for tasks, but there's no
guarantee things wont break at the java level, which implies the same
for jython, java, jlog, scala, etc.

>   So is there a critical mass for improving the way to write Ant scripts with
Jython, or at least open mindedness for this idea? Thats the first question on
which the debate depends.

1. Ant 1.7 has added much more support for extending ant with scripts
-you have <scriptdef>, <scriptcondition>, <scriptfilter> etc. We can
improve this a lot; I dont think you can <scriptdef> a resource (just a
file), so its no good in an antlib.

2. I'm not convinced that having a new language (especially a procedural
one) is the right solution, not with java behind it.

If you are going to do a python build tool, have all the equivalents of
it in python too, so you have a pure scripted env. That way you can do
more than just choreograph java stuff badly, you have a build process
built on top of python. Look a rake for an example, though that (and
capistrano) assume that there's a unix box underneath, so call out to
unix a lot.

If you wanted to bring a jython front end into the apache work then you
can certainly propose it, it could go through the incubator, the way ivy
is just need to meet the success criteria for that  (active
dev/user community primarily). I just dont see the ant team saying "for
ant1.8 we've decided to abandon XML and go for python"


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