Book Review: Maven: The Definitive Guide


Sonatype recently released its 0.5 version of its Maven Book - Maven: The Definitive Guide.The print edition published by O'Reilly, the printable PDF published by Sonatype is available as a free download! I went thorough the book quickly and here is my first hand impression. The books is also available for online reading.
Maven: The Definitive Guide


I have been using Maven now for quite sometime, and I was very happy to read the book. The book is a fit-for-all, who wants to use maven in someway or other.

It starts with as simple as downloading and installing maven, to explaining the core basics of maven, its dependency management, plugins etc, to optimizing plugins and POMS. It serves as a tutorial as well as a reference guide for Maven.
The book explains concept with ample examples. It also covers to explain some of the most useful plugins in depth. It explains the maven build cycle in depth, build profiles, maven assemblies, site generation and maven repositories, m2eclipse and nexus at depth. It also explains customizing plugins and also on writing our own plugins.

How to use the book

An extract:
This book is divided into three parts: Introductory Material, Part I, “Maven by Example”, and Part II, “Maven Reference”. The introductory material consists of two chapters: Chapter 1, Introducing Apache Maven and Chapter 2, Installing and Running Maven. Part I, “Maven by Example” introduces Maven by developing some real examples and walking you through the structure of those examples providing motivation and explanation along the way. If you are new to Maven, start with Part I, “Maven by Example”. Part II, “Maven Reference” is less introduction than reference, each chapter in Part II, “Maven Reference” deals with a focused topic and dives into as much detail as possible about each topic. For example, the Chapter 17, Writing Plugins chapter in Part II, “Maven Reference” deals with writing plugins by providing a few examples and a series of lists and tables.

While both Part I, “Maven by Example” and Part II, “Maven Reference” provide explanation, each part takes a different strategy. Where Part I, “Maven by Example” focuses on the context of a Maven project, Part II, “Maven Reference” focuses on a single topic. You can skip around in the book, Part I, “Maven by Example” is by no means a prerequisite for Part II, “Maven Reference”, but you'll have a better appreciation for Part II, “Maven Reference” if you read through Part I, “Maven by Example”. Maven is best learned by example, but once you've gone through the examples, you are going to need a good reference to start customizing Maven for your own environment.


The work is excellent and what makes it even better is the fact that the company and the authors do not consider it complete yet! Its a beta 0.5. This is what they have to say on it:
If this book moves out of Beta, we're essentially saying that there is no more content to add and nothing is going to change. I've always thought that good books evolve over time and that they live beyond the confines of the chapters and sections that define them. A good book is an ongoing conversation and a series of interactions not just between authors and readers, but of lateral interactions between readers. That was a fancy way of saying that the book is a community.

Sonatype and the book authors have done an excellent job. I would recommend the book to anyone who uses Maven.

blog comments powered by Disqus