I know it seems like something of a contradiction, but if you are happily reading the free Maven book from Sonatype (and I know tens of thousands of you are), I’d urge you to buy a printed copy of the book. Even if you buy it as a gift for someone else. Here are some good reasons to purchase this Maven book:
- Maven is a part of your everyday routine and having a printed copy would help you track down that missing option or best-practice.
- You like the idea of a seeing a free, open book developed in a transparent manner for all to see, and you want to support that effort.
- You are trying to convince skeptical colleagues to use Maven. Throwing down a thick O’Reilly book gives your argument more weight than the free online version.
- O’Reilly works with printers that have a net-positive impact on the number of trees planted (more on that in a later post)
Written from a User’s Perspective
I’ve been both a Maven evangelist and Maven’s most vicious critic. I’m the first to admit that Maven is and continues to be one of the most frustratingly under-documented tools, but instead of complaining to no end about this, I’ve invested months (and months) of my own time into helping write the latest Maven Book. It is a vast improvement over both the online documentation and the previous two books: the original Developer’s Notebook from O’Reilly and the Better Builds book from Mergere. This latest book was written to be both a good introduction and a proper reference, and we’ve published what I would consider to be a good stopping point (about half way to the complete reference I would like to ultimately publish).
There has been some good support for the book so far, a number of readers have written in to tell me that they thoroughly enjoy the book and that they have found it very informative and useful given the paucity of good Maven documentation on the web. Sure, there’s a very pronounced self-selection bias in the sample of feedback, but, unlike all the other books I’ve written, the feedback from this one is overwhelmingly positive. I haven’t received a negative reaction yet (although I’m sure this blog post will trigger one).
You Decide the Fate of Free Books
If you like the idea of free, open books, I’d urge you to order a copy from Amazon. We were up to #5 on the Java list, and I’d like to enlist your help in bumping us up to #1. Maven is the most popular build framework, and if you use it and want us to continue to publish and write free books, I’d urge you to buy the book.
Earlier in this post, I mentioned that this printed version is the approximate half-way point for the larger reference I would like to see published on Maven and the associated “constellation” of tools. If you enjoy the work we’ve completed so far, buy a printed copy.