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Maven is Magic in NetBeans IDE 6.0!

· Java Zone

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I came across Mark Ashworth's Connext-Graphs project a few days ago and then found that the project sources, including samples, are provided as Maven projects. Mark told me that I would first need to do a "mvn install" on the main project, after which I would be able to build the other project, i.e., the one that provides samples. So, being ignorant of Maven and all it entails, I thought: "Hmmm. I guess I'll go to the Synaptic Package Manager and see if I can find Maven there." I also googled around a bit. Guess what I discovered...

Of course, I was aware of the fact that there's a NetBeans plugin for Maven. However, I assumed I'd need to install some command line tool first, which would then need to be registered in the IDE, after I'd installed the Maven plugin. At some point, I thought: "Maybe I'll install the Maven plugin first. Then I'll look for the place where I need to register the command line tool and go from there." So I went to the IDE's Plugin Manager, searched for Maven, and then had it installed 3 seconds later.

Next, I went to the New Project wizard. I thought: "Maybe I'll be able to import the Maven projects that I've downloaded from Mark's site. Once I've imported them, maybe I'll be able to build." Sure enough, I found a project type for importing Maven projects:

I clicked Next. Guess what I found? A message telling me: "Hey buddy, you don't need to import at all. Just open the project, NetBeans is smarter than you think!" Or, words to that effect:

So, I could simply open both projects, without doing anything special at all. I chose File | Open Project and then browsed to where I'd downloaded the projects from the dev.java.net site. I found that the IDE recognized the projects, because the typical NetBeans project icon showed for both of them and I thus was able to open them. Once opened in the IDE, they look like this:

And... there are contextual menu items for tasks such as building the projects:

In the end, I didn't need to do anything at all. I simply opened the projects, built them, and then ran the samples. It was an utterly boring experience, I had no issues to file in Issuezilla and I had no problems to solve at all, in any shape or form. Life sucks sometimes.


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