When developing apps, I find myself visiting several sites to make sure I have the latest 3rd party libs. Most specifically the jakarta-commons and Spring libs.
Is there a way via ANT or some other tool (not Maven) to run a task that maybe runs wget or something and grabs all the latest and greatest? It seems like I've downloaded libs that would do this via ANT for themselves but for the life of me can't find one on my PC to go by nor remember which ones.
As Jeanne suggests you may be able to plug in the anonymous CVS details, but are you talking about latest stable, latest nightly or bleeding edge? The manual maintenance of each repository would also be painful.
you should be careful to update your libs all time, just because a new release is ready for download.
it could well be that some libraries are not down compatible (e.g. introducing new/other bug through bug fixing), and then you end up with searching for bugs in your code base, though the error is somewhere else. i know it is not very likely (if you use stable libraries like commons), but still it is sometimes unsure.
i would only update 3rd party libraries, when it is neccessary, i.e. a bug, which breaks your program was fixed, a new release with new functionality was developed or similar and i would do it manually (including looking at release notes, if it is worth to upgrade).
or what is the reason why you want to update libraries so regulary, that you want to include it in your automatic build process? AFAIK stable libraries anyway don't get updated very often.
=============== To Greg I used to work in a company, I was kind of in Charge of update the 3rd party tools.
I needed to test them in my sandbox first, make sure they do not break our head build. And make sure to document advantages and any adjustment we need to do when we update the third party tool. Then I will get approved by our chief architect, push it to developer's head build. The labeled build for our individual products will depends on each development manager of each group to use the newer version or not. They usually updated it when they update our internal apis.
Stable product is very important to the development as well as your clients!!
I agree that using the latest and greatest isn't always the best idea in prod. What I want to do however, is limit the ammount of time I spend before each project begins to ensure I have what I need and have any possible updates. Or maybe even just be notified that there is a new version available of a specific library.
Something that saves me from going to each individual web page every single time.