Bug 16465 - xbuild can not pass a flattened Item collection to MSBuild task via a property
Summary: xbuild can not pass a flattened Item collection to MSBuild task via a property
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: Tools
Classification: Mono
Component: xbuild ()
Version: unspecified
Hardware: PC Mac OS
: --- normal
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Bugzilla
Depends on:
Reported: 2013-11-26 14:34 UTC by Fraser Ruffelll
Modified: 2015-06-26 19:26 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

Is this bug a regression?: ---
Last known good build:

Example build script, with an output log for each xbuild and msbuild. (2.05 KB, application/zip)
2013-11-26 14:34 UTC, Fraser Ruffelll

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Description Fraser Ruffelll 2013-11-26 14:34:18 UTC
Created attachment 5547 [details]
Example build script, with an output log for each xbuild and msbuild.

I would like to pass an Item collection to a target invoked via an MSBuild task. The MSBuild task allows for only properties to be passed (via the Properties) property, and not items. A common way around this is to flatten the Items to a string with each item separated by a semi-colon, and in the target being called reconstruct the Item collection. When I try this, xbuild complains about Properties being malformed (probably because of the confusion between a semicolon separating each property, and a semi-colon within the property's value).

I've attached an example script, with a log file for MSBuild (4.0.30319.18408), and a log file for xbuild (

A workaround would be to flatten with a character other than ';', and then replace this character in the called target with the ';' again, and then reconstruct the Items. This adds a lot of script code if done often.

Is there a simpler way to work around this? Thanks!
Comment 1 Marcin Cieślak 2015-06-26 19:26:52 UTC
Same effect with the current mono master (4b675b9fbf4d2cba2adf7fea91ba8793801781ec)

Possibly related: https://bugzilla.xamarin.com/show_bug.cgi?id=24211