JAR management can be difficult at the best of times. Occasionally a developer has a brainwave about fixing this problem, which is to extract all the JAR files used in a project and re-archive them into one super-jar-to-end-all-jars. While it may seem like a good idea at the time, it decreases flexibility to cope with change and should not be done.
“Weblogic application server originally shipped with all the dependency jars merged into a single large weblogic.jar file. Our website needed a more recent version of one of the common libraries that had been bug fixed - so we had to manually expand and patch this jar. A new version of Weblogic came out that fixed a security vulnerability so we had to upgrade to the latest weblogic.jar. Nobody knew where to find all the patches or if they would still work.”