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diet4j: run Maven modules directly, and avoid gigantic JARs and WARs

Maven is great for breaking gigantic code bases into many little modules, with identified dependencies. This allows incremental builds etc.

And then, to run that code, we usually put all together again into a uber-mega-JAR or WAR, or with mile-long class paths. While sometimes this makes sense, often it does not.

diet4j can run command-line apps, and Tomcat web apps, similarly to how maven builds projects: simply specify the name of the top project, and diet4j assembles all the other JARs automatically for the run.

E.g. if your project hierarchy looks like this:

    Project A
        Project B
            Project C
        Project D

you can say:

> diet4j A

which will read the POM in A.jar (in ~/.m2/repository, or a location of your choosing), determine run-time dependencies, then recursively look for B.jar, C.jar and D.jar, load them into separate ClassLoaders, hook up dependencies and jump on the main program (if it has one) of Project A.

It may not be for all people, but it is for some who want to distribute changes incrementally, avoid rebuilding gigantic JARs every time some small change needs to happen, fit better into Linux-style package management etc. It’s also great for dynamically finding and loading modules without restarting the application.

We’d love some feedback, it’s early days.

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