Maven Ignorance: Jon Stevens and Howard Ship Resonate in Ignorance


What is interesting about this comment thread. Is all of the ignorant FUD that is thrown around about Maven. Specifically by Jon Scott Stevens, people continue to just blather on about all of these bugs in Maven that have been addressed. Stuff like changing plugin version (fixed in 2.0.9 if you had bothered to pay attention). What’s fun about the comment thread is that there is a level of support for Maven that wasn’t there a few years ago. A lot of the comments are along the lines of: “Dude, calm down, you have some issues” or “Wait, you bitch about Maven but you haven’t really stopped to learn about it”. More fun is that he likes to just refer to it as a “steaming pile of shit”. I guess the nightclub business didn’t work out for Jon, and maybe we should reinstate his special page on the Jakarta site.

And Ship proudly publishes some confusing Ant script that recreates the dependency manage logic (poorly). Good luck with that. Good luck with Tapestry in general, the last run in I had with the Tapestry troop was when a Tapestry contributor demonstrated his own intolerance when he called Wicket “gay” on the O’Reilly Network. (classy and mature?)

Search for boomtown15 in the comment thread and you’ll see a well-written response that captures my own thoughts:

As I agree with some of the dislikes people have mentioned I really do believe that many of them are a matter of not understanding Maven. Most of that is probably because the documentation is hard to find or is not where most would expect. The documentation is the biggest con I have with Maven.

There are ways to alleviate many of the problems people are having or are mentioning, but they take too much time to find. Time that people are not willing to invest. They want an easy to use tool and don’t want to invest much time. I don’t think this is too much to ask; however, I know from experience that investing the time up front is well worth it in the end. I have a Maven build system that manages 30+ projects and its pretty damn stable. The only problems I seem to have is when people don’t understand Maven. Its a little too complex to just pickup and have a perfect build in a couple of minutes like the documentation suggests. It takes time to understand how Maven works and how it can manage dependencies, profiles, plugin versions, internal repositories, etc for you.

Yes. Exactly. It takes time to understand how Maven works. And, people like Ship and Stevens just can’t be bothered. They can’t be bothered to take the time to learn how to use it, so they freak out and write some invective about how the thing doesn’t work. From my perspective, Maven works fine, often the problem is with the person using it or a related technology. There is a certain special kind of person that continues to show up, they stubbornly refuse to read the documentation that is available (and I’m not talking about the site), and they expect Maven to just work without them spending a moment trying to learn about the conventions. In other words, if the conventions don’t immediately fit in with what they expect – they start screaming and yelling about what a terrible tool it is. Again, what is fun about this is that the people that take the time to learn the tool have the advantage and I continue to hear from satisfied customers every single day.

And, don’t start about the documentation, I think the documentation sucks, that’s why I just finished writing a 600+ page about the thing. My advice would be to take maven.apache.org out of your bookmarks and just go to the book instead. I am the first to say that the Maven web site (and the site plugin) need to be trashed entirely.

Oh, and Maven sucks, right? Leave a comment on your own blog.

PHOTO CREDIT: Covered by CC BY 2.0 from Just Taken Pics on Flickr.