Resources

A file-like entity can be abstracted to the concept of a resource. In addition to providing access to file-like attributes, a resource implementation should, when possible, provide the means to read content from and/or write content to the underlying entity. Although the resource concept was introduced in Apache Ant 1.5.2, resources are available for explicit use beginning in Ant 1.7.

The built-in resource types are:

resource

A basic resource. Other resource types derive from this basic type; as such all its attributes are available, though in most cases irrelevant attributes will be ignored. This and all resource implementations are also usable as single-element Resource Collections.

Attribute Description Required
name The name of this resource No
exists Whether this resource exists No, default true
lastmodified The last modification time of this resource No
directory Whether this resource is directory-like No, default false
size The size of this resource No

file

Represents a file accessible via local filesystem conventions.

Attribute Description Required
file The file represented by this resource Yes
basedir The base directory of this resource. When this attribute is set, attempts to access the name of the resource will yield a path relative to this location. No

javaresource

Represents a resource loadable via a Java classloader.

Attribute Description Required
name The name of the resource. Yes
classpath the classpath to use when looking up a resource. No
classpathref the classpath to use when looking up a resource, given as reference to a <path> defined elsewhere.. No
loaderRef the name of the loader that is used to load the resource, constructed from the specified classpath. No
parentFirst Whether to consult the parent classloader first - the parent classloader most likely is the system classloader - when using a nested classpath. Defaults to true.
Since Ant 1.8.0
No

The classpath can also be specified as nested classpath element, where <classpath> is a path-like structure.

javaconstant

Loads the value of a java constant. As a specialisation of javaresource all of its attributes and nested elements are supported. A constant must be specified as public static otherwise it could not be loaded.

Attribute Description Required
name The name of the resource. Must be specified as full qualified field name. Yes
Examples
This loads the value of the constant VERSION of the org.acme.Main class into the version-property. The classpath for finding that class is provided via nested classpath element.
<loadresource property="version">
   <javaconstant name="org.acme.Main.VERSION">
     <classpath>
       <pathelement location="${acme.lib.dir}"/>
     </classpath>
   </javaconstant>
 </loadresource>
Create a new file c:/temp/org.apache.tools.ant.Main.DEFAULT_BUILD_FILENAME with the content of that constant (build.xml).
<copy todir="c:/temp">
  <javaconstant name="org.apache.tools.ant.Main.DEFAULT_BUILD_FILENAME"/>
</copy>

zipentry

Represents an entry in a ZIP archive. The archive can be specified using the archive attribute or a nested single-element resource collection. zipentry only supports file system resources as nested elements.

Attribute Description Required
zipfile or its alias name archive The zip file containing this resource Yes, unless a nested resource collection has been specified.
name The name of the archived resource Yes
encoding The encoding of the zipfile No; platform default used if unspecified

tarentry

Represents an entry in a TAR archive. The archive can be specified using the archive attribute or a nested single-element resource collection.

Attribute Description Required
archive The tar archive containing this resource Yes, unless a nested resource collection has been specified.
name The name of the archived resource Yes

gzipresource

This is not a stand-alone resource, but a wrapper around another resource providing compression of the resource's contents on the fly. A single element resource collection must be specified as a nested element.

bzip2resource

This is not a stand-alone resource, but a wrapper around another resource providing compression of the resource's contents on the fly. A single element resource collection must be specified as a nested element.

url

Represents a URL.

Attribute Description Required
url The url to expose Exactly one of these
file The file to expose as a file: url
baseUrl The base URL which must be combined with relativePath
relativePath Relative path that defines the url combined with baseUrl If using baseUrl

string

Represents a Java String. It can be written to, but only once, after which it will be an error to write to again.

Attribute Description Required
value The value of this resource No

The resource also supports nested text, which can only be supplied if the value attribute is unset:

  <string>
        self.log("Ant version =${ant.version}");
  </string>

propertyresource

Represents an Ant property.

Attribute Description Required
name The property name Yes

Resource Collections

A Resource Collection is an abstraction of an entity that groups together a number of resources. Several of Ant's "legacy" datatypes have been modified to behave as Resource Collections:

Strangely, some tasks can even legitimately behave as resource collections:

The additional built-in resource collections are:

resources

A generic resource collection, designed for use with references. For example, if a third-party Ant task generates a Resource Collection of an unknown type, it can still be accessed via a <resources> collection. The secondary use of this collection type is as a container of other resource collections, preserving the order of nested collections as well as duplicate resources (contrast with union).

Attribute Description Required
cache Whether to cache results. since Ant 1.8.0 No, default false

files

A group of files. These files are matched by absolute patterns taken from a number of PatternSets. These can be specified as nested <patternset> elements. In addition, <files> holds an implicit PatternSet and supports the nested <include>, <includesfile>, <exclude> and <excludesfile> elements of PatternSet directly, as well as PatternSet's attributes.

File Selectors are available as nested elements. A file must be selected by all selectors in order to be included; <files> is thus equivalent to an <and> file selector container.

More simply put, this type is equivalent to a fileset with no base directory. Please note that without a base directory, filesystem scanning is based entirely on include and exclude patterns. A filename (or any) selector can only influence the scanning process after the file has been included based on pattern-based selection.

Attribute Description Required
includes comma- or space-separated list of patterns of files that must be included At least one of these
includesfile the name of a file; each line of this file is taken to be an include pattern.
excludes comma- or space-separated list of patterns of files that must be excluded No, default none (except default excludes when true)
excludesfile the name of a file; each line of this file is taken to be an exclude pattern.
defaultexcludes Whether default excludes should be used No, default true
casesensitive Whether patterns are case-sensitive No, default true
followsymlinks Whether to follow symbolic links (see note below) No, default true

Note: All files/directories for which the canonical path is different from its path are considered symbolic links. On Unix systems this usually means the file really is a symbolic link but it may lead to false results on other platforms.

restrict

Restricts a nested resource collection using resource selectors:

Attribute Description Required
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

Nested resource selectors are used to "narrow down" the included resources, combined via a logical AND. These are patterned after file selectors but are, unsurprisingly, targeted to resources. Several built-in resource selectors are available in the internal antlib org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.selectors:

name

Selects resources by name.

Attribute Description Required
name The name pattern to test using standard Ant patterns. Exactly one of the two
regex The regular expression matching files to select.
casesensitive Whether name comparisons are case-sensitive No, default true
handledirsep If this is specified, the mapper will treat a \ character in a resource name or name attribute as a / for the purposes of matching. This attribute can be true or false, the default is false. Since Ant 1.8.0. No

exists

Selects existing resources.

date

Selects resources by date.

Attribute Description Required
millis The comparison date/time in ms since January 1, 1970 One of these
datetime The formatted comparison date/time
pattern SimpleDateFormat-compatible pattern for use with the datetime attribute No, default is "MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM AM_or_PM"
granularity The number of milliseconds leeway to use when comparing file modification times. This is needed because not every file system supports tracking the last modified time to the millisecond level. No; default varies by platform: FAT filesystems = 2 sec; Unix = 1 sec; NTFS = 1 ms.
when One of "before", "after", "equal" No, default "equal"

type

Selects resources by type (file or directory).

Attribute Description Required
type One of "file", "dir", "any" (since Ant 1.8) Yes

size

Selects resources by size.

Attribute Description Required
size The size to compare Yes
when One of "equal", "eq", "greater", "gt", "less", "lt", "ge" (greater or equal), "ne" (not equal), "le" (less or equal) No, default "equal"

instanceof

Selects resources by type.

Attribute Description Required
class The class of which the resource must be an instance One of these
type The Ant type that must be assignable from the resource
uri The uri in which type must be defined No

and

Selects a resource if it is selected by all nested resource selectors.

or

Selects a resource if it is selected by at least one nested resource selector.

not

Negates the selection result of the single nested resource selector allowed.

none

Selects a resource if it is selected by no nested resource selectors.

majority

Selects a resource if it is selected by the majority of nested resource selectors.

Attribute Description Required
allowtie Whether a tie (when there is an even number of nested resource selectors) is considered a majority No, default true

compare

Selects a resource based on its comparison to one or more "control" resources using nested resource comparators.

Attribute Description Required
when Comparison ("equal"/"eq", "greater"/"gt", "less"/"lt", "le" (less or equal), "ge" (greater or equal), "ne" (not equal). No, default "equal"
against Quantifier ("all"/"each"/"every", "any"/"some", (exactly) "one", "most"/"majority", "none". No, default "all"

Parameters specified as nested elements

The resources against which comparisons will be made must be specified using the nested <control> element, which denotes a resources collection.

Examples

Assuming the namespace settings

  rsel="antlib:org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.selectors"
  rcmp="antlib:org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.comparators"

<restrict>
  <fileset dir="src" includes="a,b,c,d,e,f,g" />
  <rsel:compare when="le" against="all">
    <control>
      <resource name="d" />
    </control>
    <rcmp:name />
  </rsel:compare>
</restrict>
  

Selects files a, b, c, and d.

    <project rsel="antlib:org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.selectors">
        <macrodef name="copyFromPath">
            <attribute name="todir"/>
            <attribute name="refid"/>
            <element name="nested-resource-selectors" optional="yes" implicit="true"/>
            <sequential>
                <mkdir dir="@{todir}" taskname="copyFromPath"/>
                <copy todir="@{todir}" taskname="copyFromPath">
                    <restrict>
                        <path refid="@{refid}"/>
                        <rsel:or>
                            <nested-resource-selectors/>
                        </rsel:or>
                    </restrict>
                    <flattenmapper/>
                </copy>
            </sequential>
        </macrodef>
        <copyFromPath refid="classpath" todir="todir">
            <rsel:name name="log4j.properties"/>
            <rsel:name name="default.properties"/>
        </copyFromPath>
     </project>
  

Creates the todir directory and copies (if present) the files log4j.properties and default.properties from the Classpath (already used while compiling).

  <project>
      <filelist id="allfiles" dir="${ant.home}/bin" files="ant.cmd,foo.txt,ant.bat,bar.txt,ant"/>
      <restrict id="missingfiles">
          <filelist refid="allfiles"/>
          <rsel:not xmlns:rsel="antlib:org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.selectors">
              <rsel:exists/>
          </rsel:not>
      </restrict>
      <echo>These files are missed: ${toString:missingfiles}</echo>
  </project>
  

The resource collection allfiles defines a list of files which are expected. The restrict missingfiles uses the <not><exists> selector for getting all files which are not present. Finally we use the toString: pathshortcut for getting them in a readable form: [echo] These files are missed: ....foo.txt;....bar.txt

sort

Sorts a nested resource collection according to the resources' natural order, or by one or more nested resource comparators:

Attribute Description Required
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

The sort can be controlled and customized by specifying one or more resource comparators. Resources can be sorted according to multiple criteria; the first specified is the "outermost", while the last specified is the "innermost". Several built-in resource comparators are available in the internal antlib org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.comparators:

Resource Comparators:

name

Sort resources by name.

exists

Sort resources by existence. Not existing is considered "less than" existing.

date

Sort resources by date.

type

Sort resources by type (file or directory). Because directories contain files, they are considered "greater".

size

Sort resources by size.

content

Sort resources by content.

Attribute Description Required
binary Whether content should be compared in binary mode. If false, content will be compared without regard to platform-specific line-ending conventions. No, default true

reverse

Reverse the natural sort order, or that of a single nested comparator.

Examples

    <property name="eol" value="${line.separator}" />
    <pathconvert property="sorted" pathsep="${eol}">
      <sort>
        <tokens>
          <string value="foo bar etc baz" />
          <stringtokenizer />
        </tokens>
      </sort>
    </pathconvert>

The resource of type string "foo bar etc baz" is split into four tokens by the stringtokenizer. These tokens are sorted and there sorted gets the value of "bar baz etc foo".

    <sort>
      <fileset dir="foo" />
      <reverse xmlns="antlib:org.apache.tools.ant.types.resources.comparators">
        <date />
      </reverse>
    </sort>

This takes all files from foo and sorts them by modification date in reverse order. Because the resource comparators used (<reverse> and <date>) are in an internal antlib their namespace must be set explicitly.

first

Includes the first count resources from a nested resource collection. This can be used in conjunction with the sort collection, for example, to select the first few oldest, largest, etc. resources from a larger collection.

Attribute Description Required
count The number of resources to include No, default 1
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

last

Includes the last count resources from a nested resource collection. This can be used in conjunction with the sort collection, for example, to select the last few oldest, largest, etc. resources from a larger collection. Since Ant 1.7.1.

Attribute Description Required
count The number of resources to include No, default 1
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

allbutfirst

Includes all elements except for the first count resources from a nested resource collection. This can be used in conjunction with the sort collection, for example, to select all but the first few oldest, largest, etc. resources from a larger collection. Since Ant 1.9.5.

Attribute Description Required
count The number of resources to exclude No, default 1
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

allbutlast

Includes all elements except for the last count resources from a nested resource collection. This can be used in conjunction with the sort collection, for example, to select all but the last few oldest, largest, etc. resources from a larger collection. Since Ant 1.9.5.

Attribute Description Required
count The number of resources to exclude No, default 1
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

tokens

Includes the string tokens gathered from a nested resource collection. Uses the same tokenizers supported by the TokenFilter. Imaginative use of this resource collection can implement equivalents for such Unix functions as sort, grep -c, wc and wc -l.

Attribute Description Required
encoding The encoding of the nested resources No, default is platform default
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Parameters specified as nested elements

Examples

<concat>
  <union>
    <sort>
      <tokens>
        <resources refid="input" />
        <linetokenizer includedelims="true" />
      </tokens>
    </sort>
  </union>
</concat>
  

Implements Unix sort -u against resource collection input.

Set operations

The following resource collections implement set operations:

union

Union of nested resource collections.

intersect

Intersection of nested resource collections.

difference

Difference of nested resource collections.

The following attributes apply to all set-operation resource collections:

Attribute Description Required
cache Whether to cache results; disabling may seriously impact performance No, default true

Examples

    <resources id="A">
        <string value="a"/>
        <string value="b"/>
    </resources>
    <resources id="B">
        <string value="b"/>
        <string value="c"/>
    </resources>
    <union id="union"><resources refid="A"/><resources refid="B"/></union>
    <intersect id="intersect"><resources refid="A"/><resources refid="B"/></intersect>
    <difference id="difference"><resources refid="A"/><resources refid="B"/></difference>
    <echo>
      A: ${toString:A}                    = a;b
      B: ${toString:B}                    = b;c

      union     : ${toString:union}       = a;b;c
      intersect : ${toString:intersect}   = b
      difference: ${toString:difference}  = a;c
    </echo>
  

mappedresources

Since Ant 1.8.0

Wraps another resource collection and maps the names of the nested resources using a mapper.

Even if mappedresources wraps a resource collection that consists of file-system based resources, mappedresources will not appear to be file-system based. This means you can't use mappedresources with tasks that only allow file-system based resources.

Parameters specified as attributes

Attribute Description Required
cache Whether to cache results; enabling may improve performance. Since Ant 1.8.1 No, default false
enablemultiplemappings If true the the collection will use all the mappings for a given source path. If false the it will only process the first resource. since Ant 1.8.1. No - defaults to false.

Parameters specified as nested elements

A single resource collection is required.

A single mapper can be used to map names. If no mapper has been given (which doesn't make any sense, honestly), an identity mapper will be used.

Examples

Copies all files from a given directory to a target directory adding ".bak" as an extension. Note this could be done with a mapper nested into copy directly as well.

    <copy todir="${target}">
      <mappedresources>
        <fileset dir="${src}"/>
        <globmapper from="*" to="*.bak"/>
      </mappedresources>
    </copy>
  

Creates a WAR archive adding all CLASSPATH entries that are files to the WEB-INF/lib directory without keeping their files-system structure.

    <war destfile="${output}">
      <mappedresources>
        <restrict>
          <path path="${java.class.path}"/>
          <type type="file"/>
        </restrict>
        <chainedmapper>
          <flattenmapper/>
          <globmapper from="*" to="WEB-INF/lib/*"/>
        </chainedmapper>
      </mappedresources>
    </war>
  

archives

Since Ant 1.8.0

This resource collection accepts an arbitrary number of nested resources and assumes that all those resources must be either ZIP or TAR archives. The resources returned by <archives> are the contents of the nested archives.

This resource collection is a generalization of zipgroupfileset which is only supported by the zip family of tasks.

archives doesn't support any attributes.

Parameters specified as nested elements

<archives> has two nested elements <zips> and <tars> that are unions themselves, i.e. they accept arbitrary many resource(collection)s as nested elements.

The nested resources of <zips> are treated as ZIP archives, the nested resources of <tars> as TAR archives.

Examples

Copies all files from all jars that are on the classpath to ${target}.

    <copy todir="${target}">
      <archives>
        <zips>
          <restrict>
            <path path="${java.class.path}"/>
            <name name="*.jar"/>
          </restrict>
        </zips>
      </archives>
    </copy>
  

resourcelist

Since Ant 1.8.0

This resource collection accepts an arbitrary number of nested resources, reads those resources and returns a resource for each line read.

If the line contains a colon, Ant will try to use it as an URL and if that fails (or the line doesn't contain a colon) will return a file resource with the line's content as its name.

Properties will be expanded for each line. If the property expansion yields a resource object rather than a string (for example because of custom property helpers), the resources will be returned directly.

<resourcelist> is a generalization of <filelist>.

Attribute Description Required
encoding The encoding of the nested resources No, default is platform default

Parameters specified as nested elements

<resourcelist> accepts arbitrary many resource(collection)s as nested elements.

In addition <resourcelist> supports nested <filterchain> elements that can be used to filter/modify the read resources before their lines get expanded. Such a nested element corresponds to a filterchain.

Examples

The following example copies a file from the first URL of several alternatives that can actually be reached. It assumes that the file mirrors.txt looks like

    mirrors.txt:
http://best.mirror.example.org/
http://second.best.mirror.example.org/mirror/of/best/
https://yet.another.mirror/
http://the.original.site/
  
    <copy todir="${target}">
      <first>
        <restrict>
          <resourcelist>
            <file file="mirrors.txt"/>
          </resourcelist>
          <exists/>
        </restrict>
      </first>
    </copy>