Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Maven now supports attributes in pom.xml?!

In December 2005, I asked Is it possible to make pom.xml simpler?.

After seeing what the Spring Developers have done to simplify Spring context files, I can't help but think the same thing is possible for Maven 2's pom.xml. Is it possible to add namespaces and make something like the following possible?

Before:

    <dependency> 
      <groupId>springframework</groupId> 
      <artifactId>spring</artifactId> 
      <version>1.2.6</version> 
    </dependency> 

After:

<dep:artifact name="org/springframework/spring" version="1.2.6"/>

Or just allow attributes to make things a bit cleaner?

<dependency groupId="org.springframework" artifactId="spring" version="1.2.6"/>

At that time, the general response was "That's how Maven works. It's a matter of taste. You'll get used to it." It's been two years and sure, I'm used to it, but I'd still rather write less XML. That's why I was particularly pleased to see Brett Porter's write Maven now supports condensed POMs using attributes:

The issue is being tracked under MNG-3397.

The result is that something like this:

<dependency>
  <groupId>junit</groupId>
  <artifactId>junit</artifactId>
  <version>3.8.1</version>
  <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>
<dependency>
  <groupId>easymock</groupId>
  <artifactId>easymock</artifactId>
  <version>1.2_Java1.3</version>
  <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>
...

Halves in length to something like this:

<dependency groupId="junit" artifactId="junit" version="3.8.1" scope="test"/>
<dependency groupId="easymock" artifactId="easymock" version="1.2_Java1.3" scope="test"/>
...

Now that wasn't so hard was it? ;-)

Posted in Java at Feb 11 2008, 03:45:57 PM MST 4 Comments
Comments:

Much better.

Posted by Ben on February 11, 2008 at 05:22 PM MST #

All I can say is: WOOHOO! Now if we could get a stable release train, i.e. version x bundled with plugins of version x, then everything would be perfect :)

Posted by GB on February 11, 2008 at 06:17 PM MST #

GB - I agree. However, I would also add global exclusions to achieve perfection.

Posted by Matt Raible on February 11, 2008 at 06:29 PM MST #

Glad you like it :)

Posted by Brett Porter on February 11, 2008 at 11:55 PM MST #

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