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From David Weintraub <>
Subject Re: Modify file inside war
Date Fri, 27 Mar 2009 14:38:14 GMT
Okay: I have a firm belief in the "Finger o' Blame". The idea in
development is to get the "Finger 'o Blame" pointing at someone else.

Many times, one group pushes their issues upon another group further
down the line. This allows the Finger 'o Blame to fall onto that next
group instead of the first group that caused the issues.

I've taken over many build/release engineer positions where people
have told me "I hope you're better than that other idiot we had. He
couldn't do anything right. Every time we had a release, he couldn't
get it working in production."

Then, comes the fun, I start throwing back releases to development
telling them that the product cannot be released as it stands. I would
fail a build for things like Warfiles that have bad MANIFEST.MF in
them. The usual responses would go "Well, the former build/release guy
use to allow this type of stuff", or "Can't you just fix it? It's an
easy thing to fix?".

After a few weeks of this (and helping the developers with their buid
issues, so their code can be correctly deployed), the whole process
goes smoother. Our deployments are less error prone. They go smoother.
Customers are happier. They start believing we are competent
professionals. We feel better about ourselves. And, it's all because I
insist that people should be responsible for their problems and not
push them off on someone else (like me).

I may not be any more competent than the "idiot" who proceeded me, but
instead of looking like an idiot because I am trying to fix everyone
else's problems, I make sure they fix their own issues and not simply
toss over in my direction.

The point is, you should not allow developers to hand you over
defective WAR files and then expect you to fix them. Yes, it's not a
difficult fix, but then that means it shouldn't be difficult for the
developers to get them right in the first place.

Yes, it is possible to use Ant to do this type of task, but Ant is
really made for producing builds and not a general purpose scripting
language. I would personally use Perl or Python to go through and fix
these WAR files instead of Ant.

Actually, I would personally refuse to fix them and consider them
undeployable, and make the developers fix their own issues.

On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 10:08 AM, Troy Bull <> wrote:
> Greetings,
> I am in charge of deploying applications for my company.  I am given war
> files by developers or cruise control builds.  These builds some times have
> 1 extra line the META-INF/ file.
> Is there a way with ant I can remove this line from this file?
> Basically as I see it the worst case :
> I need to explode the war file
> Check if this line exists in the,
> if the line exists remove it
> rebuild the war file with the new manifest
> is there an easier way?  Is this way possible?  If so what "tasks" would I
> use?
> Thanks in advance
> Troy

David Weintraub

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