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From "James Carpenter (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Created: (MNG-2369) Generic 3rd Party DotNet Libraries not appropriately handled
Date Wed, 14 Jun 2006 20:06:41 GMT
Generic 3rd Party DotNet Libraries not appropriately handled

         Key: MNG-2369
     Project: Maven 2
        Type: Improvement

  Components: Sandbox  
 Environment: Windows XP
    Reporter: James Carpenter

The csharp plugins work great when using .Net dependencies built with the csharp plugins,
but don't work in the general case.

Problem Statement:
(Note: As a Java developer, I might mess this up a bit.)
A .NET assembly contains a manifest which lists the assemblies it depends upon.  In addition
to checking digital signatures for public assemblies, the classloader (whatever MS calls it)
expects the filenames of the dependencies to match that described in the manifest.  The problem
is the maven repository structure imposes a particular naming convention upon the artifacts
placed within it.  So you can't just take a third party dll change its name to fit into the
maven repo artifact naming convention and create an associated POM.  Artifacts built by maven
using the csharp plugins match the maven repo artifact naming conventions and the assembly
manifests contain dependencies whose names are consistent with the maven repo artifact naming

Tatical Solution:
The nasty tatical solution I am currently using, is to simple refer to any 3rd party dlls
as system dependencies.  (<scope>system</scope>)

Potential Strategic Solution:
I believe the solution is to create another maven artifact type to support 3rd party dlls.
 The artifact actually stored in the maven repo should be an archieve of some sort (jar, zip,
etc.).  During the process-resources (some phase prior to compilation, might need custom lifecycle)
phase these 3rd party dependencies would be downloaded by the ArtifactResolver and unarchieved
in some directory structure which maintains the versioning through directory naming, but not
by file name.  The dll filename would be the same as the original name of the 3rd party dll
(most likely implementation choice is simply to let the archieve maintain the original name).

When maven builds the classpath, any artifact of this new type would be represented in the
classpath as the path to the unarchieved dll.  (The current csharp compiler plugin sees these
as the path to the local repo.)

I believe, it will actually be necessary to produce two new artifact types.  One will be used
for "managed" dependencies and another for native "unmanaged" dependencies.  This distinction
is important because the csc (C# compiler) only wants to know about "managed" dependencies.
 (See as /resource arguments to csc compiler.  Refer to plexus csharp compiler code for details.)

I'm not sure my proposed solution is 100% accurate, as I still don't know the maven internals
that well, but I think its close.

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