is there any way to change *-ds.xml at runtime without reloading the DataSource?
The only way I know of is to turn off the hot deployer. But then any changes you make will not take place until you restart the app server.
Hmm, this is not such a big issue to turn off the hot deployer. Some cold deploy directory would be cool for such kind of problems :-)
Which version of JBoss AS are you using? If 4.0.x or 4.2.x, then look at the URLs attribute in the last MBean in the file server/xxx/conf/jboss-service.xml. Any additional directories added are read only during app server startup (only the first directory is monitored by the hot deployer).
If you are using 5.0.x, this is no longer possible. The config location changed and all directories mentioned are monitored by the hot deployer.
I use JBoss 5.0.1 unfortunatelly.