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  • With Maven installed it should be a simple command that allows you to
    checkout the sources for a project.
  • Maybe this could be generalized so that if you reference a remote
    descriptor it will download the project. Something like

$ maven --project

would result in download of project either from remote location or
maybe from scm declarations in project descriptor.

As part of this remote downloading though the user may be asked for
input of particular configuration data (ie username etc). (PD)

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  1. An IDE related usecase:
    Not all info about a dependency can be retrieved from the dependency's artifact (jar). For javadoc or code completion, possibly refactoring and other advanced features, it's important to have the sources for the project available. (Speaking about Netbeans I know best)