Thursday, April 2, 2009

Maven documentation

Whilst reading dzone, I came across an article, Five tips for successfully deploying Maven, that highlights some good ideas for working with maven. While all 5 ideas are worth the time to read, the 4th idea intrigued me most because I have always found the maven documentation difficult to find and navigate. Quoting the 4th idea:
4 Use the documentation Well, duh. But a weak point of Maven in the eyes of many people is the lack of documentation and the sometimes poorly organized information. There are a few good points of reference though, that you can spread around you team by setting up links on the Wiki for example:
  • The Definitive Guide to Maven: a free book from Sonatype, available both as HTML and PDF. Good for the beginner, and sometimes as a reference. If you don't know where to start, start here.
  • The plugin list: a comprehensive list to the official plugins, with links to each project page and JIRA subsection. Most of the core functionality is actually performed by one of these plugins, and you can learn a lot by studying things like the resources plugin documentation.
  • The POM reference: for the slightly more advanced user. Every element in the POM is explained. Don't forget to specify the XSD information in your POM file to get the most help from your XML editor.
These are 3 great links for maven documentation. I must admit I didn't even know about the first 2 and the 3 is great to have a link to as well. By getting a better understanding of how maven wants things to work, it is easier to work with it instead of against it.

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