I saw that the Maven 2 Alpha was released today and decided to give it a spin. The two features in Maven 2.0 that look compelling to me are 1) speed and 2) transitive dependencies. I've been using Maven 1.x on my current project since January and I still don't like it. Why? It's dog slow on my PowerBook (but tolerable on my Windows box) and you have to specify a shitload of dependencies when developing an app with Struts+Spring+Hibernate.
Maven 2 looks good, and it does seem to startup as fast as Ant (at least on Windows). Just typing "m2" completes in about a second, and so does typing "ant". Typing "maven" takes about 3 seconds (even though it reports it only took 1 second). I look forward to seeing Maven 2 evolve. I wonder if we should rewrite our POMs for Maven 2 (we current have 11 sub-projects)? We'd probably be a pretty good test-bed, but I don't think Maven 2 supports all the 1.x plugins - does it?
I doubt I'll use Maven 2 with Equinox or AppFuse this year - mostly b/c I don't expect it to be released until 2006. I do like the looks of Ivy and I've considered re-writing AppFuse's monstrous build.xml file using JAM. If I were to use Ivy, I think I'd still release with all JARs in a local "lib" directory. The nice thing about Ivy is it would give users the option of checking JARs into source control (currently, it's required).
Even after using Maven for several months, I still like local JARs better than downloading. It does make a lot of sense in a multi-project environment though.
As for JAM, I don't like it for two reasons: 1) it uses the non-transitive dependency listing like Maven 1.x and 2) it requires you install JAM and set a $JAM_HOME. I'd prefer to keep AppFuse to one build tool - Ant or Maven (or both).
I suggested a large refactoring of the build process (and collapsing of the source trees) for AppFuse 1.9, but it was rejected by users for the most part. Their opinion: the build process works great, we like it - work on other stuff that's more important (code generation, tools support, etc.). Another thing that's suprised me about AppFuse users is the relatively small number of folks that have requested support for appservers other than Tomcat. To date, I don't think I've had a single Resin or Orion request, but I've had plenty of WebLogic, WebSphere and Sun App Server requests. The most compelling reason to use JAM for building/deploying/testing AppFuse is for its server support, but if I don't need it, why add the complexity?
I guess some things just work, and there's no reason to fix them if they aren't broken. Maven 1.x is not one of those things IMO. It's good to see the improvements coming in Maven 2.