DDJ: Jason, the Eclipse Ganymede release is coming up and from what I understand, it includes more than 20 projects. Could you take a minute and give us a quick overview of the simultaneous release?
JVZ: The Ganymede simultaneous release represents the commitment of the Eclipse Foundation to the stability and viability of the Eclipse Platform. There's a sizable ecosystem of vendors and end users who rely daily on Eclipse-based tools to do their work, and releases like Ganymede galvanize many of Eclipse projects into a cohesive basis upon which to build solutions. The rigor needed to organize 23 diverse projects at Eclipse into a unified, stable platform is pretty amazing, but the result is that the pieces you most need as part of your solution have already been integrated and tested together. This means you can focus on adding value to your solution like we have with m2eclipse, a plugin that tightens the integration of Maven-based technologies into the Eclipse platform.
DDJ: Thanks. Now more specifically you're known for creating the Maven central repository. Can you give us an update on its status?
JVZ: The Maven central repository continues to grow in value to Java community. We are now up to 55,579 artifacts from over 2000 projects, which means that anyone using Maven has convenient access to most of the libraries and components they need, and there are about 100 million hits to the repository per month. All artifacts in the Maven central repository are metadata-rich: for each artifact there is information on the originating project including the developers, the contributors, where you can find the source for the project, plus information on whether that artifact is related to other open source projects. There really is a vast store of untapped project information that is just starting to be utilized by tools like Nexus, Sonatype's Maven repository manager, which allows you to fully control the use of your own internal Maven repositories within your organization.
DDJ: Speaking of Maven, you've launched a new company that focuses on Maven. What's up?
JVZ: The company is called Sonatype, which to us means an optimally healthy model. In fact, "sona" means gold in Hindi, and "type" means model in Latin, so Sonatype can be thought of as the gold standard in build and release engineering. We are currently focusing our energy on bolstering the Maven community with an infusion of great tools, and providing comprehensive Maven training for organizations looking to get up to speed quickly on Maven best practices, and Maven technologies like Nexus and m2eclipse, which had over 50,000 downloads last month. We also spend a lot of time on Maven itself, adding new features, fixing bugs, and doing all the major releases. We're proud of the fact that we've found a viable path with a business model that is beneficial to the Maven community and still provides the resources we need to create new cutting edge Maven-based technologies.
DDJ: You're also releasing a plug-in that hooks up Maven and Eclipse. Can you tell us about this?
JVZ: The project is called m2eclipse or m2e for short, and consists of two major parts: IDE integration, and a build automation framework for OSGi called Tycho. The goal of the two parts is to bring complete parity to developers and release engineers. Developers typically live inside their IDEs, while release engineers crave total automation and spend much of their time honing build servers to deliver, in consumable form, what developers have created. m2eclipse provides massive gains in developer productivity and eases release engineer pain by providing visualization techniques, direct access to Maven repositories via our integration with Nexus, our Maven repository manager, and advanced editors to simplify the use of Maven inside Eclipse. Sonatype is committed to the Eclipse platform and feels that m2e is a significant step in joining the Maven and Eclipse communities.
DDJ: If readers want to find out more about these topics, can you point them to a web site?
JVZ: Sure. There's a ton of information to be found at www.sonatype.com including details on our products and our training and education for Maven. There's also excellent documentation on Maven with the first seven chapters of our O'Reilly book Maven: The Definitive Guide available for free.