There has been a few quoted use cases for using an alternate way to locate artifacts, rather than using a repository. For example:
The situation is that in each case there is already a way for them to obtain a complete set of artifacts for a project that are built, verified, signed, etc.
While a workaround is to use a file based repository, structure in the Maven way, this might be too inconvenient.
Given there is a workaround, this may be something we delay until Maven 2.1, but if it can be facilitated while the artifact code is being cleaned up, that'd be great)
The questions to resolve:
For this, we will work with those that need it (in particular the linux distros) to see what they want, what compromises we can reach to get it working. Maven's architecture should be unaffected.