Why Maven?

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One person asks:

I am looking at Jenkins from time to time and this time I got as far
as reading up on creating plugins for Jenkins. What I am wondering is
why one would need Maven to build Jenkin's plugins?

Isn't this more complicated for a "simple" Java developer to have to
read up on and set up Maven rather than just implementing an
interface, adding registration of the custom class and dumping a jar
with it into a lib folder?

I do realize that Maven can be a real pain to work with. It is especially so if you are new to Maven, and your concern is understandable. But this is a conscious decision. There are several reasons why I felt the benefits of Maven outweighs its problems when it comes to Jenkins plugins:

  • Jenkin's build process involves a certain amount of source code pre-processing. If you are to do this with Ant, your build script will get a bit more complicated.
  • The packaging of the plugin .hpi file involves a certain amount of conventions, such as listing other plugin dependencies. Doing this manually is error prone, and again, your build script will get a bit more complicated.
  • Doing this as a Maven plugin makes it possible for us to provide the "hpi:run" goal. This is a critical piece of a faster edit/build/debug experience. Without Maven, this is highly non-trivial.

I think an interesting possibility might be to let a scripting language define a plugin, so that you can do some simple things very easily.

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