How can you help improve the Maven repository?

Both Steve and Lars have been talking about how they think Maven repositories could be improved. Lots of good points, lots I agree with, lots I’d have already done if there were more hours in the day 🙂

I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there that have thoughts of their own on this topic. So, if that’s you, how can you help?

There are a few different categories of people that can help in their own ways.

  1. Open source library and framework developers and release managers – Even if you don’t use Maven yourself, chances are your users do. Treat that support as importantly as any other feature request. You can submit your own Maven metadata, and even have your releases automatically published to the Maven repository system. Here are the instructions for both. It’s also important to consider how your choice of dependencies affects your users. Putting all your functionality into one library is a distribution convenience, but can cause confusion for users about what the dependencies really are if they only use a part. Give them a choice. Produce libraries with discrete, independant functionality and clear dependencies (including clear version requirements), and produce the convenient bundled archive with the lot.
  2. Developers interested in working on an application – participate in the Maven Repository Manager. We are building an application that does all the fun things like reporting on bad data, converting Maven 1.x repositories, and doing searches and browsing of the repository. You can comment on the brief feature and design notes. You can help us fix or implement issues in the repository manager, or in Maven itself. Vote for the ones important to you. Or discuss your ideas on with the other developers.
  3. Users of the Maven repository – Help us fix metadata with usability problems. Even better, get the project you are using to buy into the problem and help fix it.

One of Maven’s biggest strengths is the repository, it’s size and openness to input from users and project owners. However, one of Maven’s biggest pain points is the repository, it’s size and openness to input from users and project owners 🙂

The good news is that you can help – we’ve gotten plenty and have seen quite an improvement since Maven 2.0 was released. There’s still work to do, but we are moving forward.

3 responses to “How can you help improve the Maven repository?

  1. Wow, weird, I was just commenting on this on my blog:

  2. I’d like to see source jars in the repository. Currently I manually download the source distributions, put them on a network drive, then update the eclipse project to configure the source for each jar – so I can browse the source and javadoc of thirdparty opensource dependencies while I’m developing my app.

    This could easily be made transparent through maven and the m2eclipse plugin – that’d be really cool.

  3. Ha, I’ve just discovered that that is exactly what m2eclipse does. Brilliant guys, great work!

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