Slimming <http://markproctor.blogspot.com/2007/05/jboss-rules-even-slimmer.html> could be taken even further by marking optional dependencies listed in <http://anonsvn.labs.jboss.com/labs/jbossrules/trunk/README_DEPENDENCIES.txt> with <optional>true<optional/>.
This would effectively remove transitional dependencies by default. Now I have to exclude them manually as a workaround.
Having xerces and xml-apis as transitive dependencies reminds me of commons-logging 1.1 situation where container/JDK provided packages emerge in wrong places of classpath hierarchy. Here endorsement via provided scope is in my opinion more appropriate. XPP3 could probably be replaced with StaxDriver, thus replacing one dependency with JDK provided dependency, but this goes already into implementation details.