AW: [Project_owners] Ant for XUL (more details)

Daniel Fournier zdev at
Wed Nov 17 18:42:25 EST 2004

Hi Jo,

Thanks for drawing my attention on Maven. I knew Checky extension, but
didn't thought it was using this deployment tool.

Maven, as Ant, relies on XML to describe the building processing of a
sofware installation, consuming a huge amount of tags: I counted about
seventy different tags for descriptors in Maven!

That's what I want to avoid, using a very restricted set of tags and
making use of nice RDF features like containers (Seq, Alt, Bag) to
structure the processing descriptors; or model composition to modularize
the processing description files (to obtain some kind of generic
processing libraries).

Another requirement is to offer a rich set of conditional processing
constructs, for instance using parameterized tasks (the basic processing
unit in Ant) and targets (collection of tasks), boolean testing
functions (isTrue, isFalse, isSet...) or task return values to set
processing variables.

There is an important motivation to use RDF instead of XML (well, RDF
has also XML, but you understand what I mean): RDF natively supports
XMLSchema and I can use that to have variables (properties) or task
arguments typing. Then, I can easily declare not only scalar processing
variables (string, integer, etc) but also complex variables like arrays
and objects or any other XMLSchema type (positiveInteger, enumeration,
etc. or user-defined types).

Of course, complex types and constructs are rather difficult to read in
XML-RDF syntax, that's why I'm using ASRDF, the terse RDF notation I
developped with Mozquery, which greatly improves the processing
declaration syntax.

As I'm not a Maven (or an Ant) specialist, I ask you whether you can do
that with those tools.


Joachim Schreiber wrote:

>I think this is not a good community for Java ideas ;-)
>I developed something with maven to build xpi's but as you can see at 
> there was not so much feedback ;-)
>I've done this work during development to my extension project
>When I look a and I can see a lot of useful projects but it's
>hard to navigate an read through this different structured projects.
>So I think the whole community needs something like maven and ant to achieve
>inter project communication. A stable and well defined build environment is
>a fundament of software development. I can't understand why mozilla defines
>no way how to build good quality plug-ins. Just some docs elsewhere in the
>web, a lot of different styles to do the same thing, no harmony. In my
>opinion this is a reason for a lot of bad plug-ins developed in the last
>years destroying mozilla's after installation.
>For me a stable develop, build, assemble, package and deploy environment is
>a basis for development.

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