M2Eclipse Plugin is not for me

In my previous rant, I bitched about the eclipse:eclipse plugin. I got a fair amount of feedback suggesting I look at the M2Eclipse IDE plugin instead. This plugs directly into Eclipse, introducing in-IDE maven support.

Well, I’ve looked at the M2Eclipse plugin, and decided it’s still not suitable for my personal working style.

For anyone interested, here’s a short list of reasons. Note that I haven’t actually _tried_ the plugin – I’m just going off their FAQ.

  • No real support for separate output folder. I can’t stand having my IDE and my build tools compile to the same folders. With Eclipse, in particular, it’s a different compiler! Compiling to the same folders results in contention, and I don’t do it. The M2Eclipse plugin used to support this as an option, but they took it away in version 0.94. This isn’t hard folks – let Maven compile to one place, and Eclipse compile to the other, and never-the-twain-shall-meet. Strike one.
  • It uses the Maven Embedder. The Maven Embedder is not Maven. It’s a somewhat bastardised version of an unreleased-even-as-beta version of Maven. It doesn’t even use the Maven Embedder that came with 2.1 – instead, it uses a “Embedder component build in May 2008 ” which is “somewhat outdated”. This means it’s got different bugs in it from the command-line Maven. I don’t need to chase down two sources of maven bugs. Strike two. (Okay, you can apparently tell it to use an installed Maven elsewhere – wonder what functionality _that_ breaks; we currently use Maven 2.0.9 because both Maven 2.1 and Maven 2.0.10 broke stuff)
  • It wants to use the JDK associated with the JRE that launched Eclipse. Well, I use a Mac. Due to SWT issues, Eclipse on the Mac has to run under Java 1.5 (though that may change with the upcoming release). But I compile against Java 6, and that what I want to run Maven under. Strike three, and you’re out.

Look, it may be a great plugin. Obviously people like it. But it doesn’t suit me.

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