Nicolas Frankel wrote a quick review of Maven: The Complete Reference, and it is positive. Here is his conclusion:
This book is top quality and free: what can I say? If you’re a beginner in Maven, you’ll find a real stable base to learn from. If you need to update your knowledge, you will find a wealth of information. If you’re a Maven guru, please contribute to the Assembly plugin’s chapter. I can only give a warm thank you for Sonatype’s effort for giving this quality book to the community.
To read the entire review, click here. He also liked the appendix we included that lists open source alternatives to artifacts not published in the public repository (although more and more and being published every month):
A very interesting point is a list of some (all?) JEE API released by the Geronimo project and referenced by groupId and artifactId. If you frown because the point is lost on you, just try using classes from activation.jar (javax.activation:activation): you’ll never be able to let Maven download it for you since it is not available in the first place for licensing reasons. Having an alternative from Geronimo is good, knowing what is available thanks to the book is better
To read our collection of free books, go to http://books.sonatype.com.
Frankel's Main Criticism
He's spot on in his main criticism - the Maven Assembly chapter is both mysterious and impenetrable. While it does provide some reference, if you read it from start to finish you almost end up knowing a bit less than you did when you started. Based on his feedback, and the feedback of many others, we're going to take some time over the next quarter to rewrite this chapter. It needs to be more focused on common use cases. The current chapter gets into too much "nitty gritty".
We heard you loud and clear, and I just created a JIRA issue: "Rewrite the Assemblies Chapter... No one can read it"
He Makes a Call for Participation in his Conclusion
He concludes the review by asking people to contribute and fix the assembly plugin. This is in line with the whole "book as an open source project" idea. When we started this project it was one or two people working on a closed-source book. As it solidified we opened up the source and made sure that it had a public Github and JIRA project devoted to it. Now that the book is mature, we've attracted more contributors (several of which I will introduce in the coming days), and we're starting to see some interest from others in participating.
If you are interested in contributing, or even in participating in the discussions. Take a look at our:
- JIRA Projects on http://issues.sonatype.org
- GitHub projects on http://github.com/sonatype