Using an if statement to conditionally run a target in Hudson

We’re running a horribly outdated version of Hudson at work (2.2.1), so this may not be relevant for people using a version of Hudson updated in the past 4 years. I was trying to conditionally run a block of code in a Hudson build and thought by setting parameters in the Ant build properties I could turn off running unit tests (based on looking at other build XML files).

I had this code in my Ant build properties

do.test=false

This didn’t work, so I echoed the value into the console and it was correctly registering at false, but the tests were still being ran.

 <echo message="Do test? ${do.test}" />
  <target name="test" depends="compile" description="execute unit and functional tests" if="do.test">
    <cobertura-instrument todir="${temp.dir}/instrumented-classes" datafile="${temp.dir}/cobertura.ser">
    </cobertura-instrument>
  </target>

After quite a while trying to find an answer through Google I found out if there’s a parameter called do.test with ANY value then that is a true statement and the block will run. My solution was to rename the parameter to _do.test. You could obviously also delete the parameter, but once I had resolved my build issue I was going to turn the tests back on.