JAX London 2014: A retrospective

One Project, One Artifact is What Makes Maven ‘Great.’

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The latest blog post in the long-waging ‘which is the better build tool, Maven or Ant?’ debate, argues that the main axe Ant-fans have to grind with Maven, is its “one project, one artifact” convention.

In Christoph Amshoff’s opinion, this shouldn’t be an issue. After all, Maven can be configured to create multiple artifacts per project, if so desired – it just isn’t recommended. Maven is “all about modularity and standardization,” he summarises. To him, this is what makes Maven great, because if you know one Maven project, you can easily make the transition to any other Maven project build. Amshoff sees this as beneficial to productivity, as there is no learning curve when you move to a new Maven build.

“We have clean conventions, a nice project structure, and a highly modular system,” he concludes.

Although Amshoff extols the virtues of using Maven for a simple project with a small overhead, blog-visitor Christophe Vanfleteren argues that Maven can bring natural modularity to complex projects, too, as adding a new, specific module is where Maven excels.

Clearly, neither Amshoff nor Vanfleteren subscribe to the same view as Kent Spillner, author of the now-infamous ‘Maven builds are an infinite cycle of despair’ post.

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