Taking Maven for Granted

After nearly 2 years of not precompiling JSPs with Tomcat 4, yesterday I gave in and patched Jasper so it behaves exactly the same way at runtime as it does via JSPC. It took an hour, and I can now create the entire work directory, drop it in place and not have it compile JSPs until they change. Hopefully they won’t but its nice to have the option for quick changes on a production server in an emergency, which the whole web.xml fragment idea doesn’t allow.
I was reminded yesterday just how much I take Maven for granted now when building my apps. I checked out Jasper from CVS to build the patch. Then I checked out Tomcat 4.x as well because it can’t build on its own. Then I had to update the build properties to a more recent version rather than the release tag because all the libraries had moved. Then I ran ant download. Then I patched the build.properties to find the JARs that had moved again. Still going, because it downloads the entire binary distribution and checks out the JAR it wants, then tosses the binary distribution.
Even having Maven doesn’t seem to be enough though. I see this morning that jakarta-commons had a bunch of JARs imported into CVS so that Ant could be used to build the doco. That will require some care next time I update CVS at home to look at some code in commons, because you just know I want to download Xerces 1 amongst all the others yet again over my dial up.

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