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What It Takes

Posted by editor on March 1, 2007 at 8:39 AM PST

A fresh look at Maven

Is Maven still controversial? When I first started editing for O'Reilly a few years ago, we ran an early article about Maven on ONJava and it drew a great deal of criticism. The old guard -- and it says something that Java has been around long enough to have an "old guard" -- decried the idea of ceding so much control over project building and management to Maven. Meanwhile its supporters argued that Maven is offering a set of reasonably good default choices for a lot of things you might not ever get around to figuring out otherwise.

Thing is, I don't think there's such a raging debate over Maven anymore. You might not choose to use it for your own project, but it's been a long time since I've seen the community lobbing stones and arrows in Maven's direction. What happened? Here's a hypothesis: Rails happened. The most disruptive technology to hit the Java world in years -- disruptive because it seeks to lure Java developers away to another language and another way of doing thing -- is highly (if sometimes grudgingly) regarded for its philosophy of "convention over configuration". While Rails solves completely different problems than Maven, they both typify this approach, and they both have their iconic moment of setting up a whole project for you with a single command.

Maybe with the idea of convention over configuration popping up all over the place, even in Java frameworks like Grails and Trails, maybe some of the anti-Maven crowd have come to tolerate, if not embrace, its implicit philosophy.

Those ready to let Maven drive when developing webapps should check out today's Feature Article, in which Will Iverson takes a look at

Building Web Applications with Maven 2:

"In this article, we will take a look at using Maven 2 to help build a simple web application (a bit of business logic in a JAR and a JSP-based web application). By the end of this article, you should feel comfortable working with Maven 2, and ready to start using it as a much more satisfactory tool than Ant (or even your IDE)."

In Java Today,

Apache Pluto, the reference implementation of the Portlet specification (JSR-168) and the basis for the Portlet 2.0 spec (JSR-286), has released version 1.1. "This is the first GA release of the 1.1 line of Pluto, which is a major refactoring of Pluto 1.0.1 to allow for easier integration of Pluto's portlet container into a portal and easier configuration of the Pluto portal driver, a bare-bones portal included with Pluto."

The Philadelphia Area Java Users Group, a successful JUG with over 1,000 members, has a new website, and more online resources for members. JUGMaster Dave Fecak writes, "let me be the first to welcome you to the new virtual home of the Philadelphia Area Java Users Group, twice rated by Sun as one of the world's top Java User Groups! The Philly JUG's main objective is to provide great events for our membership, and if you look at our history we've done just that."

Roumen Strobl has posted episode 25 of his NetBeans Podcast. In this episode: 6.0 Milestone 7, new installer, JRuby support, UML support, a new Java ME competition, vi support, plug-in portal and a NetBeans puzzler.

In today's Weblogs.
James Gosling relates a tale of
Converting the hardcore users to the NetBeans Way:
"I became a hardcore emacs user 29 years ago (yes! Really! The first emacs I used was the excellent implementation on Multics by Bernie Greenberg). But a lot of time has passed since then and the exponent in Moore's law has changed everything. And yet there's a hardcore emacs population out there that I've been slowly trying to convince to join the modern age."