> From: Noel J. Bergman [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
> Sent: Wednesday, 26 November 2003 1:34 PM
> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote
> > [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
> > > I'm failing to see the requirement for us to do [virtual artifacts]
> *now*.
> > Because Apache projects using the repository would need also non-asf
> > jars that we don't want to distribute -> virtual artifacts.
> I still maintain that non-ASF jars are specified in meta-data 
> made available
> to client tools, and thus "virtual artifacts" are unnecessary.
> The meta-data files will need to be present repository in order for the
> tools to work.
>       --- Noel

The idea behind virtual artifacts is that they allow users and tools
to determine if an artifact is available or not.

Given the artifact:

A user browsing the repository on seeing "jndi-1.2.1.jar" 
can assume that a tool will be able to download it,
regardless of whether the repository hosts it or not.

Without the virtual artifact:
. users might not be aware that corresponding meta-data indicates
  to tools that the real artifact is hosted elsewhere

. tools would need to do a 2 stage lookup to find an artifact,
  even if its not present:
  1. determine if the artifact is hosted directly
  2. on failing [1], determine if there is any meta-data indicating
     that the tool should look elsewhere


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