Yesterday I had a chance to release Mercury through the newly configured Nexus at https://repository.apache.org
Man - what a difference does a decent repository manager make!! All previous releases I had to struggle with different protocols, settings, signature generation. SCP suddenly stops working and deploy plugin starts asking for the password, signatures disappear. Simple thing, but I had to re-roll several times before cooking it just right (and still got it wrong).
The new process is a dream: it simply works. No hassles, no pains, just follow the document and everything just happens. No more excitement - will it work or not, no agitation, kind of boring.
And promotion is one mouse click! I cannot even compare that to staging plugin ... I lack the words.
I believe this is the highest praise for a software development tool - it simply, transparently - works!