A few years ago, support was added to the Sakai Maven Plugin to deploy everything that normally goes into /shared/lib and common/lib into just /lib, as per the standard Tomcat classloader layout.
At the time it wasn't feasible to rollout across the board because we had the binary assemblies doing their own thing, but now that they are gone, its time to revisit this.
To use in its current form, add -Dsakai.app.server=tomcat7 to the build command. Everything gets deployed to /lib and Sakai starts up without any modifications (except the standard connector in server.xml and the performance improvements in catalina.properties).
This ticket will track this being the default.