I just discover the change introduced in Maven 3.x to try to improve the resolution mechanism and to avoid to use a local artifact which may not be available in its remote repository :
Even if the feature is interesting it has several problems :
- When an artifact isn't accessible from its remote repository it isn't used by maven which replies a classical "dependency not found error". It is really annoying for a user with some Maven 2 skills which will have a look at his local repo, will find the artifact and won't understand why Maven doesn't use it. At least the error reported by Maven should be clear that even if the dependency is available locally, it isn't used because it's remote repository isn't available.
- This behavior cannot be configured to be only a warning for example. It is really annoying because it doesn't take care of some context and constraints we may have in a development team. Let's imagine that the remote artifact is really removed. Cool Maven broke the build to warn us. But it brakes the build of all the team whereas perhaps only one of them may try to solve the issue (and it can be a long resolution). Thus having the ability to configure if this control is blocker or warning may allow the team to configure it as blocker on the CI server and as warning on the development environment.
- This behavior may introduce some bad practices for example when we are using a staging feature on a repository manager. In our case my teams have a dedicated profile to activate a staging repository when we are validating a release. I recommend to not have this profile always activated but to do it only on-demand to avoid them to DL staging stuffs they don't need. With this new feature they need for all builds they run to activate this staging profile while binaries are stored in it. When you have to do it 20 times per day minimum let's imagine what the developer does : It adds it as an alwaysActive profile and then forget to remove it when the release is ended.
For all these reason I would like we improve this feature to make it more usable and before all bet understandable for ours users.