PatternSet

Patterns can be grouped to sets and later be referenced by their id attribute. They are defined via a patternset element, which can appear nested into a FileSet or a directory-based task that constitutes an implicit FileSet. In addition, patternsets can be defined as a stand alone element at the same level as target—i.e., as children of project as well as as children of target.

Patterns can be specified by nested <include>, or <exclude> elements or the following attributes.

Attribute Description Default
includes comma- or space-separated list of patterns of files that must be included. All files are included.
includesfile name of a file; each line of this file is taken to be an include pattern. You can specify more than one include file by using a nested includesfile elements. Note: if the file is empty and there are no other patterns defined for the fileset, all files will be included. See includes
excludes comma- or space-separated list of patterns of files that must be excluded. No files except default excludes are excluded.
excludesfile name of a file; each line of this file is taken to be an exclude pattern. You can specify more than one exclude file by using a nested excludesfile elements. See excludes

Parameters specified as nested elements

include and exclude

Each such element defines a single pattern for files to include or exclude.

Attribute Description Required
name the pattern to in/exclude. Yes
if Only use this pattern if the named property is set. No
unless Only use this pattern if the named property is not set. No

includesfile and excludesfile

If you want to list the files to include or exclude external to your build file, you should use the includesfile/excludesfile attributes or elements. Using the attribute, you can only specify a single file of each type, while the nested elements can be specified more than once—the nested elements also support if/unless attributes you can use to test the existence of a property.

Attribute Description Required
name the name of the file holding the patterns to in/exclude. Yes
if Only read this file if the named property is set. No
unless Only read this file if the named property is not set. No

patternset

Patternsets may be nested within one another, adding the nested patterns to the parent patternset.

invert

Since Apache Ant 1.7.1

A nested patternset can be inverted using the <invert> element.

Examples

<patternset id="non.test.sources">
  <include name="**/*.java"/>
  <exclude name="**/*Test*"/>
</patternset>

Builds a set of patterns that matches all .java files that do not contain the text Test in their name. This set can be referred to via <patternset refid="non.test.sources"/>, by tasks that support this feature, or by FileSets.

Note that while the includes and excludes attributes accept multiple elements separated by commas or spaces, the nested <include> and <exclude> elements expect their name attribute to hold a single pattern.

The nested elements allow you to use if and unless attributes to specify that the element should only be used if a property is set, or that it should be used only if a property is not set.

For example

<patternset id="sources">
  <include name="std/**/*.java"/>
  <include name="prof/**/*.java" if="professional"/>
  <exclude name="**/*Test*"/>
</patternset>

will only include the files in the sub-directory prof if the property professional is set to some value.

The two sets

<patternset includesfile="some-file"/>

and

<patternset>
  <includesfile name="some-file"/>
<patternset/>

are identical. The include patterns will be read from the file some-file, one pattern per line.

<patternset>
  <includesfile name="some-file"/>
  <includesfile name="${some-other-file}"
                if="some-other-file"/>
<patternset/>

will also read include patterns from the file the property some-other-file points to, if a property of that name has been defined.