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Maven: 'I love you' afterall

Posted by schaefa on June 15, 2004 at 2:51 PM PDT

Correction:

At the bottom of my weblog I complained that I cannot redistribute JAXB with my project forcing others to download and install JWSP. Ryan Shoemaker from JavaSoft told me that this is not correct and an updated FAQ entry about this is made available. I am glad to hear this and hope that JAXB can be found on the Maven repository soon. I hope that this confusion helped to clarify this important issue and I want to thank Ryan for his valuable feedback.


The first time I saw Maven I did not like it at all. It seemed to be a huge, complex and unfinished project. But somehow I could convince myself to try it out in my very own JDoppio project. So I checked out the Maven website documentation and wrote the initial project descriptor. Now I just had to write the code, jUnit tests and was ready to run the project. So instead of writing an Ant script taking me roughly around one hour I wrote the project descriptor in ten minutes without loosing any features.

Then I decided to split up the project into multiple sub projects and found some existing projects using Maven's multi-project tool like Turbine. This took a little bit longer to understand the multi-project but to write the sub projects was quick and easy as before. After that I needed to import sub projects into other sub projects which was easy using the local repository and the dependencies in the project descriptor. Using JAXB made it mandatory to add my own archives to the local repository. Finally using properties in the project descriptor allowed me to add certain archives to a class path or to copy them into the test environment to run the JDoppio server standalone. So every requirements by my project could be resolved by Maven very elegant without making it complex.

The biggest challenge to me was to find help on problems I wanted to solve with Maven. The first stop was their website but it only works for simple questions. But then I discovered that looking into Maven plug ins and their project descriptors and Jelly scripts provided me with a wealth of information and every time I look into a different plug in I find new ways to solve a problem. It also helps to look into other open-source projects using Maven and their project and extension (maven.xml) descriptors to see how they solved a problem.

The only problem I found so far was some buggy plug ins which I either did not care about or got the newest version from CVS to solve an issue. Otherwise I am convinced that using Maven is a real time saver and if you flexible it can be used in most projects I can think off.

Have fun – Andy

P.S.: Can someone explain to me why Sun does not allow JAXB to be distributed freely and I have to bug all other developers interested in my project to download and install Java Web Services Developer Package to just get this archives? As if only web service developer would be the only ones interested in JAXB. Sometimes I am really wondering why Sun cannot stop making our lives miserable even thought they are using open-source software in their distribution as well. So Scott, please could you prevent JAXB from becoming the next Java on Linux issue where it took Sun years until they went along with the developer community.

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