blob: f8d6ff217789e718e137269814007680f8fb7d43 [file] [log] [blame]
<!DOCTYPE html>
Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one or more
contributor license agreements. See the NOTICE file distributed with
this work for additional information regarding copyright ownership.
The ASF licenses this file to You under the Apache License, Version 2.0
(the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with
the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at
Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.
<html lang="en">
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="stylesheets/style.css"/>
<title>Targets and Extension-Points</title>
<h1 id="targets">Targets</h1>
<p>A target is a container of tasks that cooperate to reach a
desired state during the build process.</p>
<p>Targets can depend on other targets and Apache Ant ensures that these
other targets have been executed before the current target. For
example you might have a target for compiling and a
target for creating a distributable. You can only build a
distributable when you have compiled first, so the distribute
target <em>depends on</em> the compile target.</p>
<p>Ant tries to execute the targets in the <var>depends</var>
attribute in the order they appear (from left to right). Keep in
mind that it is possible that a target can get executed earlier
when an earlier target depends on it:</p>
<pre>&lt;target name=&quot;A&quot;/&gt;
&lt;target name=&quot;B&quot; depends=&quot;A&quot;/&gt;
&lt;target name=&quot;C&quot; depends=&quot;B&quot;/&gt;
&lt;target name=&quot;D&quot; depends=&quot;C,B,A&quot;/&gt;</pre>
<p>Suppose we want to execute target D. From its
<var>depends</var> attribute, you might think that first target
C, then B and then A is executed. Wrong! C depends on B, and B
depends on A, so first A is executed, then B, then C, and finally
<pre><b>Call-Graph:</b> A &rarr; B &rarr; C &rarr; D</pre>
<p>In a chain of dependencies stretching back from a given target
such as D above, each target gets executed only once, even when
more than one target depends on it. Thus, executing the D target
will first result in C being called, which in turn will first call
B, which in turn will first call A. After A, then B, then C have
executed, execution returns to the dependency list of D, which
will <strong>not</strong> call B and A, since they were already called in
process of dependency resolution for C and B respectively as
dependencies of D. Had no such dependencies been discovered in
processing C and B, B and A would have been executed after C in
processing D's dependency list.</p>
<p>A target also has the ability to perform its execution if (or
unless) a property has been set. This allows, for example, better
control on the building process depending on the state of the
system (Java version, OS, command-line property defines, etc.).
To make a target <em>sense</em> this property, you should add
the <var>if</var> (or <var>unless</var>) attribute with the
name of the property that the target should react
to. <strong>Note:</strong> In the most simple case Ant will only
check whether the property has been set, the value doesn't matter,
but using property expansions you can build more complex
conditions. See
<a href="properties.html#if+unless">the properties page</a> for
more details. For example:</p>
<pre>&lt;target name=&quot;build-module-A&quot; if=&quot;module-A-present&quot;/&gt;</pre>
<pre>&lt;target name=&quot;build-own-fake-module-A&quot; unless=&quot;module-A-present&quot;/&gt;</pre>
<p>In the first example, if the <code>module-A-present</code>
property is set (to any value, e.g. <q>false</q>), the target will
be run. In the second example, if
the <code>module-A-present</code> property is set (again, to any
value), the target will not be run.</p>
<p>Only one property name can be specified in
the <var>if</var>/<var>unless</var> attribute. If you want to
check multiple conditions, you can use a dependent target for
computing the result for the check:</p>
&lt;target name="myTarget" depends="myTarget.check" if=""&gt;
&lt;echo&gt;Files foo.txt and bar.txt are present.&lt;/echo&gt;
&lt;target name="myTarget.check"&gt;
&lt;condition property=""&gt;
&lt;available file="foo.txt"/&gt;
&lt;available file="bar.txt"/&gt;
<pre><b>Call-Graph:</b> myTarget.check &rarr; maybe(myTarget)</pre>
<p>If no <var>if</var> and no <var>unless</var> attribute is
present, the target will always be executed.</p>
<p><strong>Important</strong>: the <var>if</var> and <var>unless</var>
attributes only enable or disable the target to which they are
attached. They do not control whether or not targets that a
conditional target depends upon get executed. In fact, they do
not even get evaluated until the target is about to be executed,
and all its predecessors have already run.
<p>The optional <var>description</var> attribute can be used to
provide a one-line description of this target, which is printed by
the <kbd>-projecthelp</kbd> command-line option. Targets without
such a description are deemed internal and will not be listed,
unless either the <kbd>-verbose</kbd> or <kbd>-debug</kbd>
option is used.</p>
<p>It is a good practice to place
your <a href="Tasks/tstamp.html">tstamp</a> tasks in a
so-called <em>initialization</em> target, on which all other targets
depend. Make sure that target is always the first one in the
depends list of the other targets. In this manual, most
initialization targets have the name <code>&quot;init&quot;</code>.</p>
&lt;target name=&quot;init&quot;&gt;
&lt;target name=&quot;otherTarget&quot; depends=&quot;init&quot;&gt;
<p>Especially if you only have a few tasks you also could place these
tasks directly under the project tag (<em>since Ant 1.6.0</em>):</p>
<p>If the <var>depends</var> attribute and
the <var>if</var>/<var>unless</var> attribute are set,
the <var>depends</var> attribute is executed first.</p>
<p>A target has the following attributes:</p>
<table class="attr">
<th scope="col">Attribute</th>
<th scope="col">Description</th>
<th scope="col">Required</th>
<td>the name of the target.</td>
<td>a comma-separated list of names of targets on
which this target depends.</td>
<td>the name of the property that must be set in
order for this target to execute,
or <a href="properties.html#if+unless">something evaluating to
<td>the name of the property that must not be set
in order for this target to execute,
or <a href="properties.html#if+unless">something evaluating to
<td>a short description of this target's function.</td>
<td>Adds the current target to the depends list of
the named <a href="#extension-points">extension-point</a>.
<em>since Ant 1.8.0</em>.</td>
<td>What to do if this target tries to extend a
<a href="#extension-points">extension-point</a>. (<q>fail</q>,
<q>warn</q>, <q>ignore</q>).
<em>since Ant 1.8.2</em>.</td>
<td>No; not allowed unless
<var>extensionOf</var> is present, defaults to <q>fail</q>.
<p>A target name can be any alphanumeric string valid in the
encoding of the XML file. The empty string <q></q> is in this set,
as is comma <q>,</q> and space <q>&nbsp;</q>. Please avoid using
these, as they will not be supported in future Ant versions
because of all the confusion they cause on command line and
IDE. IDE support of unusual target names, or any target name
containing spaces, varies with the IDE.</p>
<p>Targets beginning with a hyphen such as <q>-restart</q> are
valid, and can be used to name targets that should not be called
directly from the command line.<br/>
For Ant's main class every option starting with hyphen is an
option for Ant itself and not a target. For that reason calling
these targets from command line is not possible. On the other
hand, IDEs usually don't use Ant's main class as entry point and
calling them from the IDE is usually possible.</p>
<h1 id="extension-points">Extension-Points</h1>
<p><em>Since Ant 1.8.0</em>.</p>
<p>Extension-Points are similar to targets in that they have a name
and a <var>depends</var> list and can be executed from the command
line. Just like targets they represent a state during the build
<p>Unlike targets they don't contain any tasks, their main purpose
is to collect targets that contribute to the desired state in
their <var>depends</var> list.</p>
<p>Targets can add themselves to an
extension-point's <var>depends</var> list via
their <var>extensionOf</var> attribute. The targets that add
themselves will be added after the targets of the
explicit <var>depends</var> attribute of the extension-point, if
multiple targets add themselves, their relative order is not
<p>The main purpose of an extension-point is to act as an extension
point for build files designed to
be <a href="Tasks/import.html">imported</a>. In the imported
file, an extension-point defines a state that must be reached and
targets from other build files can join the <var>depends</var>
list of said extension-point in order to contribute to that
<p>For example your imported build file may need to compile code, it
might look like:</p>
&lt;target name="create-directory-layout"&gt;
&lt;extension-point name="ready-to-compile"
&lt;target name="compile" depends="ready-to-compile"&gt;
<pre><b>Call-Graph:</b> create-directory-layout &rarr; 'empty slot' &rarr; compile</pre>
<p>And you need to generate some source before compilation, then in
your main build file you may use something like</p>
&lt;target name="generate-sources"
<pre><b>Call-Graph:</b> create-directory-layout &rarr; generate-sources &rarr; compile</pre>
<p>This will ensure that the <q>generate-sources</q> target is
executed before the <q>compile</q> target.</p>
<p>Don't rely on the order of the depends list,
if <q>generate-sources</q> depends
on <q>create-directory-layout</q> then it must explicitly depend
on it via its own depends attribute.</p>