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Here is a demonstration [[UsingAntWithXSLT2.0AndSaxon]]. Here is a demonstration [UsingAntWithXSLT2.0AndSaxon].

Ant Tasks

There is a great deal of "folklore" knowledge about the individual Ant tasks that is not clear from the specification of the tasks offered in the [http://ant.apache.org/manual/index.html Ant Manual].

The Sync Task (present since 1.6)

Here is an example of some lore of this type: The Sync task will delete 'dangling files' and 'dangling directories' in the target directory.

The Property Task


The Prefix Attribute

The Problem: I have to access some properties (from a file), which are already defined in my build file. To be able to access the properties I can use the prefix attribute of the property task.


#Release information about the framework
#Thu Oct 14 16:25:12 CEST 2004

Ant Example Target

<target name="read.properties">    
  <!-- Read the properties from the release of the framework -->
  <property file="framework.properties" prefix="framework"/>
  <echo message="${framework.build.number}"/>
  <echo message="${framework.release.version}"/>
  <echo message="${framework.release.name}"/>    


Buildfile: C:\build.xml
  [echo] 115
  [echo] 0.4
  [echo] framework
Total time: 3 seconds

The AntCall Task


Sometimes on the mailinglists there is a question on how to invoke a special target depending on the value of a property. Because there could be more than two values, you can´t use the usual if/unless-attributes of the target.

But the solution is quite easy: compound the name of the target by a common term and the value itself and let antcall do the job.

Ant Example Target

<project default="call">
    <target name="foo-upload"><echo>FOO upload</echo></target>
    <target name="bar-upload"><echo>BAR upload</echo></target>
    <target name="test-upload"><echo>TEST upload</echo></target>

    <target name="call">
        <input message="Please choose the server "
        <antcall target="${server}-upload"/>

You have only to ensure, that there are valid values for that property, e.g. a blabla would call the non existing blabla-upload which results in an error. But the input task here will ensure that.

BTW - the same can be used for loading platform specific properties:

<property file="${os.name}.properties"/>
<property file="default.properties"/>

The Exec Task

On Windows the Exec task does not find the executable file if its directory was double quoted in the PATH environment variable. (Execute failed ... error 2: which means file not found.)

The Unzip Task

How to unzip the content of a subdirectory of a zip file without the path to the subdirectory. For example, if a zip file has a directory dir1/dir2, how to unzip dir2 into dir3 so that dir3 contains only dir2, not dir1/dir2?

The XSLT Task

This task allows you to perform XML transforms using the built-in XSLT system. XSLT 2.0 can also be done using the Saxon system.

Here is a demonstration [UsingAntWithXSLT2.0AndSaxon].


AntTasks (last edited 2009-09-20 22:07:53 by localhost)