If you want to reference/use a file from an archive then you have to unzip it...this is standard behaviour (you will see the same in Weblogic, also using WinZip, etc).
Thanks for your feedback...but I don't quite agree. You can most definately access files in an archive (ex: you can access files in a jar file without unjaring it). I don't know if the same is true for WAR files since one of the major differences is that files in a JAR are all compiled classes and files in a WAR are not.
In any case, I don't buy it that this is standard behavior (maybe it is for JBoss but probably not for most other web application servers). If it is, why is the directory structure hidden and outside the normal JBoss directory structure.
As for WebLogic doing the same thing, I can't really say. I never found a hiddend directory structure being built outside the Weblogic directory.
Any more thoughts?
A WAR file is a special archive that in intself can contain JAR files....is it possible to directly reference a class within a jar which is within a war without first unzipping it?
(I admit it is a pain, my SysAdmin is complaining that after each deployment there is a new xxx meg WAR directory created..and since hot deployment no longer works in JBoss3 then...)
In addition, as you say, it contains uncompiled files in addition - is it possible to compile, say, a JSP file or maybe the Cocoon sitemap if it is within a WAR archive?
...I cannot speak about other App Servers but this is how both JBoss and how WebLogic work - look (I think in $WL_HOME/tmp) for directories called *.ejb, *.war etc etc (if my memory serves me correct). Or perhaps it is in a hidden directory called something like .wl_do_not_delete - memory is a bit hazy on WebLogic I'm afraid.