Thursday, February 15, 2007

Is this what Maven was intended for

My company has installed a firewall so that the staff do not download software to their computers. We use a software that tracks the sites from which the files are being downloaded and also the filetypes. Typically downloading of exe files, zip files etc are prevented for obvious reasons. I also head the company's R&D team which means I have to download software frequently and evaluate them. Since the person heading the IT team is often involved in attending to some issue or other, I have to wait several hours before he downloads the files and gives it to me. I have found a better way to get around this problem. Since the arrival of Maven, most software gets published to the Maven repository as jar files. Interestingly, the jar format isn't one that is blocked by our corporate firewall and I can download it quite easily. There is a repository of open source projects and their jar files in the maven repository at http://www.ibiblio.org/maven. The softwares I have so far downloaded and installed include

1. asm
2. axis
3. batik
4. commons-*
5. dom4j
6. drools
7. groovy
8. izpack
9. jaxen
10. myfaces
11. wicket
12. wsdl4j
and many others.

I can download the binaries of the recent as well as older versions of all the products and the sources too for some of them. This kind of benefit that Maven is providing together with the continued use of Ant by many make me wonder if this was the main intended use of Maven or would Maven end up as the software that resulted in providing us with a steady stream of downloadable jar files without quite being put to its intended use which is as a build system.

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