Don't misunderstand: I think a shared, common process is a good thing & should be encouraged. My problem is more about how that sharing is implemented by people who only "play" at being release engineers.


1) Do you care about being able to recreate your builds a week from now? A month? A year? Five years? Ten years? (Yes, we still service product releases that have been in the field for 10+ years.)
2) Who owns the infrastructure where that remote, shared resource lives?
  2a) Do you know who has write access to it?
  2b) What policies are in place for auditing access & modification?
  2c) What happens to your build when the URL changes?
  2d) What disaster recovery & business continuity policies are in place in case the server hosting the remote resource gives up the ghost?
3) Are changes make in a backwards compatible fashion?

This is just off the top of my head.

Now, for some projects none of this is a concern. For other projects these are inviolable constraints that are necessarily at the forefront of everything we do.

Are there ways to mitigate these concerns with using a remote resource in a build? Absolutely: you can clamp down on write access, use versioning, have SLAs and backups, etc. The take-away message is that there's a lot more complexity involved to properly support a remote resource than just chunking it up on a some random web server.
Jeffrey E. (Jeff) Care
IBM WebSphere Application Server
WAS Release Engineering

WebSphere Mosiac
WebSphere Brandmark

Mansour Al Akeel <> wrote on 03/08/2012 05:42:56 PM:

> From: Mansour Al Akeel <>

> To: Ant Developers List <>
> Date: 03/08/2012 05:43 PM
> Subject: Re: import remote file
> Jeffery,
> thank you. I will try it soon.
> Can you please let me know what makes you think it's terrible idea ?
> On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM, Jeffrey E Care <> wrote:
> > Mansour Al Akeel <> wrote on 03/08/2012 02:53:55
> > PM:
> >
> >> I am looking for a functionality to allow me to import remote files
> >> that contains tasks to be used in multiple projects. Something like:
> >>
> >> <import file="
http://path/to/reusable/file.xml" />
> >>
> >> I know I can include this in an antlib inside a jar, ant download it
> >> through ivy, but importing a remote file, seems to be easier way to
> >> share this macros with other
> >> projects.
> >>
> >> I didn't find this functionality, and looking to open a jira ticket.
> >> Just making sure it doesn't exist.
> >
> > You should be able to do this today using a nested url resource.
> >
> > Of course I'm on record as thinking this is a TERRIBLE idea, so use at
> > your own risk.
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