Luismi Pena Home page

Last Updated:
28th September 2005

idldepend - an ANT CORBA task

Ant is a powerful Java build tool, built on top of individual tasks. I needed a task for the compilation of CORBA/IDL specifications, supporting at least two compilers: the one that comes with Orbacus and the included with the JDK 1.4. As there was none at that moment, I built my own task, which turned out to be not a very simple one: it features a complete preprocessor, and it has to parse the IDL specification.

Although my project didn't use any of the advanced possibilities of the Orbacus or JDK's compilers, like specifying automatically a package, I wanted to include in this task most of the options that can be specified through the command line on these compilers. Not all of them are supported, but the main ones (upon my undestanding) are included. Additionally, the task supports as well other ORB compilers (Jacorb, OpenORB, Orbix, Orbacus, IBM).


idldepend is a task verifying the dependencies of a CORBA/IDL file. It parses the file, verifying the Java files that must be generated, taking in account the modifications that can happen due to command line parameters. If any of the Java files is missing or is older than the source IDL specification, it launches the specified compiler, being correctly supported those coming with Orbacus, Orbix, Jacorb, OpenORB, IBM and Sun'JDK distributions.To speed up the process and avoid parsing unnecesarily the same files continuously, it keeps the dependencies into intermediate files.

This task does not launch as well the Java compiler, that is, its output are Java files and not directly the final bytecode.

Version and CORBA compliance

Current version, since the 28th September 2005 is 0.81. It is written using Ant 1.6, and I do not check usually whether it would compile or work under previous Ant versions (note that it was initially developed using Ant 1.4).

Idldepend is compliant with the IDL to Java mapping defined for CORBA 2.4. Support for the mapping 1.2 -CORBA 3.0 compliant- is under work (note as well that the current IDL to Java mapping is only CORBA 2.4 compliant!).
In particular, the following keywords are not supported:

  • component
  • consumes
  • finder
  • home
  • emits
  • eventtype
  • getraises
  • import
  • multiple
  • primarykey
  • provides
  • publishes
  • setraises
  • typeid
  • typeprefix
  • uses
Note that all these keywords have been added with CORBA 3.0, and, by now, I have not knowledge of any ORB with Java mapping supporting them.

When a compiler deviates from the standard mapping, the result is therefore incorrect. Nevertheless, I have not tuned this program to include those compiler deviations, as they are usually harmless (some exception applies, as described below).

Following are the incompatibilities that I have detected so far (perhaps some have been solved after I checked them, I do not verify periodically the correctness of the compilers):

  • JDK: it generates some extra files in case of valuetypes, to handle them more easily.
  • Jacorb: it does not handle correctly valuetypes: it does not define a specific scope for them.
  • Orbacus: if a preprocessor directive is commented out, it still treats the directive.
  • OpenORB:
    • the use of the parameter side is problematic. Define it as client is translated into -nostub, but the compiler treats it by disabling the generation of just the stub file, not the other files only used by the clients (like the helper and holder classes)
    • the generation of files for local interfaces is incomplete. A local interface with name X should produce, among others, two files called and, but these are not generated when OpenORB 1.3.1 is used (and the documentation for OpenORB 1.4.x does not mention it).

      IDLDepend is currently tuned to handle this bug -if the compiler is OpenORB, it does not expect the two missing files-.

  • Orbix: No incompatibilities detected so far.

License and download

idldepend is delivered as it, without any responsabilities on the author (Luismi Pena, aka Luic Pend). It is open source, it can be used or modified without any limitations. Although the task is beta, it has completely covered my needs, and I consider the source to have the quality enough to be distributed. Reported bugs have been solved and some extensions have been as well included after the first version (look at the history changes section).

If some bug is found or the behaviour is not exactly the shown by the compiler, please send me a mail ( and I will promptly introduce the modifications. The task is distributed with source, and therefore you can make by your own any changes.

Following are the downloadable files. Please note that version 0.8x handles slightly differently included files than on previous versions; if the new modifications break your existing compilations, please get back to version 0.71 and report me the problems:

In case of using the source code, you need to have Ant (to build the task) and JavaCC (only if modifying the grammars, to parse them). Please modify the ant script to define your own JavaCC home directory, and compile it just entering 'ant'.
Note: To use the newest JavaCC version (3.2), it is needed to use, at least, ant 1.6.


Attribute Description Required Default value
compiler jdk / orbacus / jacorb / jacorb2 / openorb / orbix / ibm.
Specifies the compiler to use, which must be available on the classpath (jdk/jacorb/jacorb2/openorb/ibm) or in the path (orbacus/orbix2k)
  • jacorb2 (reintroduced in version 0.70) is equivalent to jacorb, but it is required to handle different behaviours in the way they handle packages. See below the section on package and translate for further information
  • Please note that, from version 0.51 the compilers for jacorb and openorb must be available from the classpath, not anymore from the path.
callCompiler foreach / once / onceWithAll.
Using foreach, the compiler is called each time that a file is verified to have been modified, while with once, it is called only once, with all the files. Please look at invoking the idl compiler for a deeper explanation.
New from version 0.53
compilerPath Specifies the location of the idl compiler.
This is specially useful for orbacus / orbix, to avoid specifying explicitely the PATH to the compiler.
Note that if it is specified on the jdk / openORB ... compilers, the idl compiler is not invoked anymore through the classpath, but spawning a different process.
file File: specifies the file to be verified. This or the nested element fileset must be specified.
targetdir File: target directory used on compiler's generation.
as base dir
dependsdir File: directory used to store the dependency's files.
as targetdir
side client / server / all / serverTIE / allTIE
It specifies the kind of generation to be performed: for client or server purposes, and generating TIE files or not
ami no / callback
It specifies whether to support AMI (asynchronous messaging interface). It support currently only the callback model (i.e., not the polling)
checkall boolean: it checks all the files that must be generated, including those coming out from types defined in included files
force boolean: if set, it does not perform any check, launching the compiler directly.

That is, no dependencies are verified, the idl files are not parsed, and this task is only used to invoke the compiler.

failOnError boolean: if set, the idl compiler is not launched if the parser's task finds an error.
preprocess dismiss / store / storeFull / use / useFull
Specifies the action on the preprocessed file, as described in the section below.
verbose quiet / basic / debug
Specifies the task's verbosity level

Nested Elements

Element Description
fileset Fileset: files to be compiled. This element is optional, but if the attribute file is not specified, there must be at least a fileset element.
include Path: specifies the paths to be used when looking for included files on the IDL files.
define Macro definition, defined with the following attributes:
Attribute Description Required
name macro name
value macro value
undefine Macro undefinition, defined with the following attributes:
Attribute Description Required
name macro name
package Modifier used to change the final package for the generated Java files, prepending a given prefix. Additional information is shown below.
Following are the attributes of this element:
Attribute Description
module String:The module on which the package prefix will be applied. Every type belonging to this module is included inside the package given. When specified, the attribute prefix must be specified as well.
prefix String:The package prefix to apply.
auto boolean: if set, it includes every file into a package whose name is taken the prefix defined in the idl dile. It is only valid with orbacus and openorb.
translate Modifier used to change the final package for the generated Java files, modifying the standard package per module generation. Additional information is shown below.
Following are the attributes of this element (both are mandatory):
Attribute Description
module String: The module to translate.
package String: The package on which the previous module is translated
classpath Sets the classpath to use to launch the IDL compiler. A whole description of this element is given in the ant manual, on the Path-like Structures
path Sets the path to use when the IDL compiler is executed as an external program. This applies only to orbacus and orbix compilers; if the compilerPath is specified, it affects to all the compilers.
If it is used with jdk or jacorb and the compilerPath is not specified, a warning is raised.
A whole description of this element is given in the ant manual, on the Path-like Structures
arg Argument: additional argument to supply to the compiler. Note that if this argument modifies the name of the files being generated, force should be set to true, as this task will not be able to calculate correctly the dependencies
Example: <arg value="-Gdsi">
By mistake, this element was documented as args on previous versions


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<project name="Sensei" default="main" basedir=".">
  <taskdef name="idlcheck" classname="idldepend.IDLCheckerTask"/>

    <target name="idl">
      <idlcheck compiler="jdk" force="false" checkAll="false"
        targetDir="output" dependsDir="dependencies">
      <fileset dir=".">
        <include name="*.idl"/>
        <pathelement path=".."/>
      <package module="example" prefix="UNO"/>
      <translate module="CORBA_HP" package="CORBA_HP.v2"/>
      <translate module="IfacePackage" package="Interf"/>

    <target name="main" depends="idl">
     <javac srcdir="output" includes="**/*.java"/>


Using the preprocessor

Since version 0.30, IDLdepend can store the preprocessed file (the IDL file after the C preprocessor parses it), and even use it to generate the Java files. This feature is very valuable for those IDL compilers that lack a full-featured preprocessor (Jacorb has problems with basic macros, and the jdk compiler has as well problems with basic preprocessing functionality, like macros defined across several lines).

This functionality is specified with the attribute preprocess, which can have the following values:

  • dismiss:
    • The preprocessed file is not stored.
  • store:
    • The preprocessed file is stored, in the same directory as the dependencies (specified with the attribute dependsdir).
    • This file has the same name as the original, plus a 4-digits hexadecimal number, plus '.idl'. The number is the same as used for the dependencies, and it is unique for each file.
    • This file is not fully expanded: the #include directives are kept (but with the files to be included written with its absolute path).
    • If the attribute force is set to true, no preprocessed file is generated.
  • storeFull:
    • The preprocessed file is stored, like it is done in case of store
    • This file is fully expanded: the #include directives are handled, including therefore the related file into the preprocessed file, like any C preprocessor would do.
    • If the attribute force is set to true, no preprocessed file is generated.
  • use:
    • The preprocessed file is stored, like it is done in case of store
    • This file is not fully expanded, like it is explained for store
    • The preprocessed file is used as input for the IDL compiler; hereby the need to avoid a full expansion, as the IDL compiler would generate otherwise the Java files for all the encountered types.
    • If the attribute force is set to true, the preprocessed file is still generated.
  • useFull:
    • The preprocessed file is stored, like it is done in case of store
    • This file is fully expanded, like it is explained for storeFull
    • The preprocessed file is used as input for the IDL compiler; note that in this case, the compiler will generate Java code for all the types found in the included files. Therefore, the attribute checkAll looses his meaning if this value is used.
    • If the attribute force is set to true, the preprocessed file is still generated.

Using package and translate

These modifiers affect to the packages under which the final Java files are generated. For example: package moduleA prefixA.prefixB converts the file moduleA/moduleB/ into prefixA/prefixB/moduleB/ The result of these modifications is not fully specified. IDLdepend just performs the translations made by the specific compiler, and each compiler behaves quite different. For example, when translate is used on the jdk compiler, it only affects to top-level modules, while under jacorb it modifies any given module; and this modifier is not applicable for orbacus.

Following is a brief description of its behaviour. In case of doubt, check directly the compiler:

  • Package
    • jdk
      • equivalent to modifier -pkgPrefix.
      • module and prefix are mandatory, and auto is not supported.
      • module affects only to the top level module
      • prefix can be compound. I.e, it's possible to specify packageA.packageB
      • It is applied before any translate modification.
    • orbacus
      • equivalent to modifiers --package, --prefix-package and auto-package.
      • if auto is specified, no other attribute can be present. It is equivalent to --auto-package
      • if only prefix is specified, it is equivalent to --package, with priority over any auto modifier
      • if module is specified, prefix must be specified as well, being in this case equivalent to --prefix-package: it has priority over --package
    • jacorb
      • In version 1.x, it is equivalent to modifier -p
      • In version 2.x, it is equivalent to modifier -i2jpackage :prefix. To handle the difference with version 1.x, the compiler attribute must be set as jacorb2 instead of jacorb
      • it only supports the prefix modifier.
      • it's applied after any translate modification
    • openorb
      • equivalent to modifier -package
      • Important:if package is used when compiling more than one idl files, openORB will behave differently if these files are passed once by once than when they are passed all at once! For this reason, when the combination openORB + package modifier is used, it is convenient to pass the parameter callCompiler=onceWithAll
    • orbix
      • The prefix is always required, while module is optional and the auto modifier not supported.
      • if no module is specified, it is equivalent to the Orbix parameter -P prefix
      • if the module is specified, it is equivalent to the Orbix parameter -Pmodule=prefix
      • If several matching packages are specified, it is only used the last one.
  • Translate
    • jdk
      • equivalent to modifier -pkgTranslate.
      • module and package are mandatory
      • module affects only to the top level modules
      • prefix can be compound. I.e, it's possible to specify packageA.packageB
      • It is applied after any package modification.
      • If two translates are specified affecting the same module:
        • If both translates have the same module name, only the second one remains.
        • Otherwise, the translate with a more specific module name will be applied first.
    • orbacus
      • Not supported
    • jacorb
      • equivalent to modifier -i2jpackage.
      • module and package are mandatory
      • module affects to any module in the type. It must be simple, i.e, moduleA.moduleB is not valid
      • prefix can be compound. I.e, it's possible to specify packageA.packageB
      • It is applied before any package modification.
    • openorb
      • Not supported
    • orbix
      • Not supported

Invoking the IDL compiler

A number of attributes and nested elements control how the IDL compiler will be invoked from idldepend. Of course, every single attribute or element modifies the way the IDL compiler is called, adding or modifying the parameters passed to it; this section refers to which compiler is invoked and how the idl files are passed.

Which compiler is invoked is specified via the attributes compiler and compilerPath, and nested elements classpath and path. How the idl files are passed to the compiler is handled via the callCompiler attribute. From these, only this last attribute requires a deeper explanation:

  • If callCompiler is set to foreach, each idl file is compiled separately. This is the default behaviour for two reasons:
    • It was the only mode existing before version 0.53
    • Some compilers only supports this mode (like JDK or IBM)
  • If callCompiler is set to once, the compiler is only invoked once, passing all the idl files that require compilation.
    • It should increase the performance, on those compilers that support it.
    • It is mandatory in some cases. In special, for the OpenORB compiler, it behaves differently compiling two files sequentially or at once, when the package elements are used.
  • If callCompiler is set to onceWithAll, the compiler is only invoked once. The main difference with once is that, if idldepend identifies that at least once idl file must be compiled, the compiler will be invoked with ALL the idl files, not only those requiring compilation.
    • Obviously the performance will be worse.
    • It is mandatory in some cases. In special, for the OpenORB compiler, as it behaves differently compiling files sequentially or at once, it can be required to pass all the files on every compilation.

The callCompiler functionality has been introduced to deal with the OpenORB compiler, though it could be useful with other compilers as well. The OpenORB compiler contains currently a bug: if file a.idl includes the file b.idl and both are passed at once to the idl compiler, OpenORB will not generate the code for the types found in b.idl if it is passed in the command line after a.idl.
To work around this bug, idldepend will reorder the idl files, passing first those without dependencies to the others (currently, there are no mechanisms to disable this reordering)

Translation of compiler arguments

Below is listed the translation of compiler arguments into the task parameters for the supported compilers

The lists are given following the compiler order. When a parameter is not supported, is explicitely writen. Note that the args parameter in the task allows to specify any other parameter, but in that case the task can become useless. When a parameter is not directly supported but it can still be specified using the args parameter without any problem, it is as well explicitely writen

JDK (as to 1.4.0) and IBM JDK (3.0)

compiler argument task parameter
-d <symbol> define name=<symbol>
-emitAll checkAll=true
-f<side> side=<side>
Note that the side's names match what is expected by JDK (client, server...)
-i <include path> include
-keep Not supported
-noWarn verbose="quiet" or "basic"
-oldImpBase Not supported
-pkgPrefix <t> <prefix> package module=<t> prefix=<prefix>
-pkgTranslate <t> <pkg> translate module=<t> package=<pkg>
-skeletonName Not supported
-td <dir> targetDir=<dir>
-tieName Not supported
-v, -verbose verbose="debug"
-version Not supported

Orbacus (as to 4.1.0)

compiler argument task parameter
-h, --help Not supported
-v, --version Not supported
-e, --cpp Not supported (use args instead)
-d, --debug verbose="debug"
-DNAME define name=NAME
-DNAME=DEF define name=NAME value=DEF
-UNAME undefine name=NAME
-IDIR include
-E Not supported
--no-skeletons side=client
--no-comments Not supported (use args instead)
--tie side=serverTIE or side=allTIE
--clone Not supported (use args instead)
--all checkAll=true
--impl Not supported
--impl-tie Not supported
--package PKG package prefix=PKG
--prefix-package PRE PKG package module=PRE prefix=PKG
--auto-package package auto=true
--output-dir DIR targetDIR=DIR
--file-list FILE Not supported (use args instead)
--with-interceptor-args Not supported (use args instead)
--no-local-copy Not supported (use args instead)
--case-sensitive Not supported

Jacorb (as to 1.4.1 and 2.2)

compiler argument task parameter
-syntax Not supported
-noskel side=client
-nostub side=server or side=serverTIE
-Idir include
-sloppy_forward Not supported (use args instead)
-sloppy_names Not supported
-Dx define name=x
-Dx=y define name=x value=y
-Ux undefine name=x
-p pack package prefix=pack (version 1.x)
-i2jpackage :package package prefix=package (version 2.x, compiler set to jacorb2)
-i2jpackage x:a.b.c translate module=x package=a.b.c
-i2jpackagefile Not supported (use args instead)
-i Not supported (use args instead)
-ir Not supported (use args instead)
-global_import Not supported (use args instead)
-d dir targetDIR=dir
-W 4 -verbose=debug
-all checkAll=true
-v|version Not supported
-h|help Not supported
-backend Not supported (use args instead)
-jdk14 Not supported (use args instead)
-nofinal Not supported (use args instead)
-ami_callback ami=callback
-ami_polling Not supported (use args instead)

OpenORB (as to 1.3 and 1.4)

compiler argument task parameter
-release Not supported
-d directory name targetDIR=directory name
-package package_name package prefix=package_name
-I include
-D define
-nostub side=server or side=serverTIE
-nolocalstub Not supported (use args instead)
-noskeleton side=client
-notie side=client or side=server or side=all
-boa Not supported
-dynamic Not supported
-portablehelper Not supported (use args instead)
-all checkAll=true
-noprefix Should not be any prefix auto=yes
-noreverseprefix Not supported
-native Not supported
-quiet verbose=quiet
-silence verbose=quiet
-verbose verbose=debug
-jdk1.4 Not supported (use args instead)
-invokeMethod Not supported (use args instead)
-minTableSize Not supported (use args instead)
-XgenerateValueFactory Not supported (use args instead)
-XgenerateValueImpl Not supported (use args instead)

Orbix (2000)

Please note that for this compiler, only the directly supported arguments are specified.
If no present in the table but still required, the args task attribute can be used.

In addition, if an argument is added via arg and this argument must be embedded
in jbase or jpoa, like is the case for arguments starting
by -P, -O, -G, -M, -J, -V, -F, the addition is handled automatically
by idldepend, i.e., it is not required to add explicitely jbase or jpoa.

compiler argument task parameter
-jbase side=client
-jpoa side=server
-Idir include
-Dx define name=x
-Dx=y define name=x value=y
-Ux undefine name=x
-P pack package prefix=pack
-Px=y package module=x package=y
-Odir targetDIR=dir
-w -verbose=quiet
-v -verbose=debug


In case of errors, the fastest way to verify what is happening is to make idldepend verbose, using the attribute verbose=debug.

  • IDLDepend does not report obvious IDL errors.
    IDLDepend performs exclusively a syntax check, and some errors cannot be verified. For example, an operation void foo(in short long) is an obvious error, but under a syntax check it just means the use of a variable called long
  • IDLDepend reports as erronoeus an IDL file that is perfectly parsed by the ORB.
    Please send me the file to check the error.
  • IDLDepend launches always the IDL compiler, even when no new files must be generated
    Please verify that dependency files are generated (attribute force=yes not defined). These files are generated in the directory given by the dependsdir attribute.
    In the directory with the dependencies, IDLDepend stores a file for each parsed IDL file; this file has the same name as the IDL file, adding a 4-digits hexadecimal number, and the extension .depends In this file, each line but the last one is prependend with:
    • <: the rest of the line contains the name of a file referenced by the current file.
      If the referenced file changes (its timestamp changes), this IDL file must be re-parsed.
    • >: the rest of the line contains the name of a file generated from the current IDL file.
      If this file is older that the current IDL file or does not exist, it is needed to parse again the IDL file to re-generate any depending files.
    By checking the content of this file, you can verify why IDLDepend is re-launching the idl compiler; in most of the cases, because some file-to-be-generated is missing. If this is not the case, please send me the idl file to verify its behaviour.

History changes

Version 0.81
28th September 2005
Minor correction, to display file names on the standard ouput between quotes.

Version 0.80
29th July 2005
Corrected the behaviour on files inclusion: if a file is included in some IDL scope, the definitions in the given file must be added to the current scope; previous versions would discard included files unless the attribute checkAll were set to true.
For example:
  {file a.idl}
  module A {
     #include "b.idl"
  {file b.idl}
  const short variable = 0;

In this case, the content of the second file should be included, independent of the attribute checkAll; that is, the defined variable should be included in the given module A
Updated the grammar to support empty module definitions. The OMG specification declares that an empty module -that is, containing no nested definitions- is invalid; however, compilers like JDK allow it, and there is no reason for IdlDepend to stop the compilation.
Bug correction: the dependencies would not be properly regenerated after modifying an included file

Version 0.71
10th March 2005
Nested IDL types generated java types in the incorrect scope.
IDL definitions nested under a global module scope -the general case-, were correctly handled, but defining, for example, a struct nested into another struct produced incorrect dependencies.
Thanks to Duane Griffin for providing the patch that solves this problem.

Version 0.70
19th October 2004
Bug corrected: the usage of the attribute force was broken, producing null pointer exceptions.
Bug corrected: Using the jdk compiler, the setting of package prefixes for top level types (i.e., not defined inside modules), produced incorrect dependencies.
Reintroduced the compiler value jacorb2. It was deprecated since version 0.51, and it is now reintroduced to handle the different handling of command line arguments between the Jacorb versions 1.x and 2.x.
In version 1.x, the idl compiler accepted the argument -p package, translated by idldepend into a package directive. The version 2.x removed this argument, still reaching the same goal through the argument -i2jpackage :package. To be useful for both versions, idldpend requires therefore the new compiler value.

Version 0.63
6th October 2004
Minor bug corrected: preprocessing #endif lines were not allowed to have associated definitions. That is, #endif _MY_SYMBOL_ would be considered invalid, only #endif would be accepted.

Version 0.62
1st October 2004
Corrected a bug that produced incorrect line number reports in case of errors. This bug only appeared when using IDL files requiring preprocessing.
Updated the grammar to support forward declarations of abstract valuetypes. (the grammar already supported it, but incorrectly, and no testcase had been run on it)
Included support to cover a bug in OpenORB (v1.3.1). Its idl compiler does not generate all the java files that the standard IDL-to-java mapping require. More specifically, a local interface with name X should produce, among others, two files called and, but these are not generated when OpenORB 1.3.1 is used (and the documentation for OpenORB 1.4.x does not mention it).

Version 0.61
29th June 2004
Support for the non-standard pseudo keyword is added.

This keyword is used to define a pseudo object in the JacORB compiler; it is not standard OMG/IDL at all, and it is not supported in the other compilers (JDK / IBM / OpenORB). In the JacORB compiler, it generates a simple abstract class for the given interface (pseudo interface Example {} will generate the class at current scope, without added helpers or holders).

Version 0.60
30th May 2004
This version closes (hopefully), the issues concerning the usage of package with the OpenORB compiler
Using callCompiler="once" or callCompiler="onceWithAll", the list of idl files to compile is sorted, in such a way that files with less dependencies are first in the list. This is required for the OpenORB compiler, as explained below. However, as it does not break any previous rule (callCompiler has just being introduced) and all my test suites compile fine with this modification, I have preferred to make it the default behaviour, instead of adding still another attribute to control this behaviour
Explanation of the problem with OpenORB: If OpenORB compiler is called using a different callCompiler than foreach, the compiler reacts differently depending on the order of the files passed. As an example, if a.idl depends on b.idl, it is important to pass first b.idl to the compiler, or its associated java files will not be generated.

Version 0.54
27th May 2004
Mismatch between documentation and implementation for attribute callCompiler. The value onceWithAll was implemented as useAll

Version 0.53
24th May 2004
Included support for new compiler. The compiler attribute supports now the value "ibm", to invoke directly the idl compiler supplied with the IBM JDK (class
This support has been provided by Andreas Ebbert
Guillaume Cordina patched the OpenORB part of idldepend to solve an issue related to the usage of package modifiers: if an ant script would include a package modifier x.y.z (or, in general, any 3-level name), it would generate a dependency for the file y.z/x/... instead of z/y/x/....
New attribute callCompiler that defines how the IDL compiler will be called. This attribute is quite required for the openOrb compiler as described above. When the changes were made, an optimization was added to call only once the compiler instead of the default mode, where the compiler is called once per file. The "slow" mode remains as default for two reasons: it is the behaviour shown on previous versions, and it is supported by every compiler.

Version 0.52
13th April 2004
Solved a problem with Jacorb when ant 1.5 is used: only the first idl file would compile.

Version 0.51
3rd April 2004
Jacorb and OpenOrb compilers are launched now internally, using the classpath. That means that it does not depend anymore on the specific shell scripts (idl in Jacorb, idl2java in OpenORB), which are by default dependant of the platform. This should as well improve the performance of the idldepend task.
The main side effect is that any task depending on idldepend, using any of these compilers, must ensure now that the classpath is perfectly specified, and not to rely anymore upon the path.
It is deprecated the usage of jacorb2 as compiler. It should be used compiler="jacorb" instead. Currently, only a warning is issued otherwise.

Version 0.50
8th March 2004
The major change is that grammars are now generated with the latest JavaCC version. This lets the task being compiled as well with ant 1.6 This change should not affect to the idldepend functionality; however, in case of finding some newer error not found on previous versions of idldepend, please get back to the version 0.42 and send me a description of the problem.
It is now defined in the same way the constructs: "#ifdef __FOO__", "#if defined(__FOO__)", and "#if defined __FOO__ " (before, the latest construct was an error)
Note that the IDL compiler can still handle them in different form; in special, the JDK compiler treats the second one as a macro to be expanded.
Corrected the handling of packages when the Orbix compiler is used.

Version 0.41
10th January 2004
Corrected a bug associated to the verbosity output on the OpenORB compiler.
Corrected the documentation. The nested argument arg was previously stated as args

Version 0.40
30th November 2003
Added support for local interfaces.
Added support for CORBA Messaging, using the attribute ami.
Updated documentation related to OpenORB 1.3

Version 0.35
27th November 2003
The nested element classpath applies now on every compiler, not only on JDK or Jacorb.
Added the nested element path and the attribute compilerPath

Version 0.34
25th November 2003
Added support for the new Jacorb 2.x version; its new IDL compiler exits from the JVM calling to System.exit(), and aborting therefore the current ANT task. This version corrects this problem by executing the compiler externally, not in the same JVM.

Version 0.33
23rd September 2003
Important bug solved: the IDL file was compiled every time, independently of the dependencies outcome, defeating totally the purpose of idldepend. Yeah, ashaming error :-(
New functionality: support for classpaths as a nested element. Currently, it is only supported on JDK and Jacorb compilers, as the others are launched outside the JVM.

Version 0.32
3rd September 2003
Bug solved: dependencies directory was requested even when it was not needed.
Bug solved: if the dependencies file was valid, it would not launch the IDL compiler even if the dependencies would show up that the compilation was needed.
Mail direction changed: is now spam territory; long life to
Limitation found: if the JDK IDL compiler fails, idldepend will not fail, and the ant task using idldepend will show: BUILD SUCCESSFUL. Unfortunately, this is a limitation on the JDK IDL compiler: when it fails, does not return a error code.

Version 0.31
16th July 2003
Corrected a serie of bugs introduced with the additional preprocessing capabilities on verion 0.30.

Version 0.30
2nd July 2003
Added new attribute, preprocessor, to enhance the preprocessor capabilities of IDLdepend, and allow its usage on the IDL compilers.
Corrected the handling of the predefined macro ##, incorrect on previous versions.
Modified the IDL grammar to allow the use of empty files (IDL files not defining types). In this case, IDLdepend will not fail, and it depends on the IDL compiler to handle them or fail, as the IDL grammar does not allow those files.
Corrected the output of IDLdepend when it shows the command line used to execute the IDL compiler. From version 0.22, it shown on separate lines each parameter, with a final warning about the use of quotes that was reported as an error by some users. In addition, it made IDLdepend incompatible with the version 0.4 of Ant.
With the re-corrected behaviour, it shows the command line in one line, with appropiate use of quotes.

Version 0.24
15th June 2003
Added new attribute, failOnError, to stop the ANT task if the parser finds a problem on the idl source. Its default value is false, to keep the consistency with the previous releases; previously, if an error was found, the idl compiler was executed to give an accurate description of the error.
It has been updated as well the link to the JavaCC homepage.

Version 0.23
3rd June 2003
Using the JDK compiler, if two translate modifiers are specified affecting to the same module, the more specific one must be applied first, independently of the order on which are defined.
That is, being defined two translate modifies with modules 'IP' and 'IP.DNS', the second one must be applied for those elements defined under the module 'IP.DNS', without applying the translation defined for 'IP'.
Version 0.23 solves this problem. Documentation has been slightly revised as well.

Version 0.22
27th April 2003
Correct handling of directory paths including spaces. Thanks to Jeff Downs for providing the patch that solves this problem.

Version 0.2
8th December 2002
When the IDL file defines types matching java reserved words, they must be prepended with an underscore. Previous versions did not verify this point.
Correct handling of circular dependencies: a file included through a circular dependency would let ant in an infinite loop.
Handling circular dependencies, idldepend fixes now a limit on the recursion: if a file is included 400 times (without being completed its inclusion), it reports an error. This is usually due to a wrong circular dependency.
Support for Orbix 2000, provided by Brian Wallis.
Multiple dependencies to the same source are now reported only once.

Bugs and Limitations

  • CORBA compliance support
    Please look to the section above, to check the current compliance.
  • JDK
    If the JDK IDL compiler fails, idldepend will not fail, and the ant task using idldepend will show: BUILD SUCCESSFUL. Unfortunately, this is a limitation on the JDK IDL compiler: when it fails, does not return a error code.
  • Performance
    The main limitation of idldepend is currently its performance: it must duplicate most of the work that the compiler does to generate the files and therefore it can be expected it to require double the time that the compiler needs.
    In fact, using the JDK compiler, it requires for long files with deep and recursive includes up to six times more. This time is only required for the first time, as the following times that idldepend is executed, it uses the created dependency files and then it is faster than the compiler (it doubles it speed).
    That is, on its first execution, idldepend is much slower than using directly the IDL compiler, but following executions are faster than using the compiler. (and if there are no changes, it avoids of course the compilation of the generated .java files!).
    This performance is due to the little experience I have with parsers. If you feel more confortable with it, feel free to improve it!
  • ORBs support
    I included support initially for JDK, Jacorb, OpenORB and Orbacus ORBs. The support for Orbix was included afterwards by Jeff Downs.
    Since then, most of the changes in idldepend have been the result of added functionality -like the preprocessor-, or to solve reported bugs. In special, I have not tracked the IDL compilers to verify new command line options. As a result, it is possible that the ORB version you are using it is not perfectly supported by idldepend. If this is the case, please report me the change(s) to enhance this program.