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Tiles Maven Plugin - Version 2.8

maven tiles maven tiles

Overview

The tiles-maven-plugin is a Maven Plugin that tries to bringing the composition that is available to dependencies to the parent structure as well.

How do I make a Maven Tile?

Tiles are plain Maven pom artifacts which contain parts of a Maven POM; every tile can contain

  • build data, for example the license tags that a company wants to report on all their artifacts

  • build aspects, for example the configurations of a plugin, such as Groovy, Java or Clojure.

  • release aspects, for example the distribution management section

  • references to other tiles

This could, for example, allow you to have build aspects consistent across your organisation and open sourced, and the distribution of internal vs external artifacts kept in a single tile. In the current single parent hierarchy, this is all duplicated.

Where can’t I use a Maven Tile?

The following are Repaint project definitions:

  • define: reactor build - pom.xml that contains only modules, no plugins, no dependencies, no dependency management, no plugin management. These are used as shortcuts to get your full project installed or tested.

  • define: multi-module build - pom.xml that contains plugins and/or dependencies, dependency management, plugin management

With those defined:

  • You can use a tile in a reactor or multi-module build where the tile is a module and (a) only used in the other modules or (b) used in the parent with the inherits config turned off (so it is not inherited by the children). This is a side effect of how Maven works and we cannot work around it.

  • We do not prioritize issues raised where you are using a multi-module build. These are the anti-thesis of Repaint.IO’s philosophy of composition over inheritance. If you raise the issue and it seems a reasonable use case we will look at it, but please be aware that it is unlikely to be looked at by us without an explicit reproducible test case.

Composing a Maven Tile

A Maven Tile is made up of a pom.xml and a tile.xml. The pom.xml contains the normal release information. When using tiles, this would be the name/groupId/artifactId/version/description/packaging(tile) and generally only a declaration of the Maven Tiles plugin. Only if you are using a tile (and generally you use at least one - the release tile) will you specify a configuration.

pom.xml
<project>
  <groupId>io.repaint.maven</groupId>
  <artifactId>license-tile</artifactId>
  <version>1.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
  <packaging>tile</packaging>
  <description>Contains consistent license information.</description>

  <build>
    <plugins>
      <plugin>
        <groupId>io.repaint.maven</groupId>
        <artifactId>tiles-maven-plugin</artifactId>
        <version>2.8</version>
        <extensions>true</extensions>
        <configuration>
          <filtering>false</filtering>
          <tiles>
            <tile>io.repaint.tiles:github-release-tile:[1.1, 2)</tile>
          </tiles>
        </configuration>
      </plugin>
    </plugins>
  </build>
</project>

With the packaging tile, the plugin will look for the attached tile.xml, do some basic validation on it and attach it as an artifact.

When the <filtering> configuration item is specified as true - then standard Maven resource filtering for @project.version@ style references is applied to the tile.xml file prior to install/deploy.

tile.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project>
  <licenses>
    <license>
      <name>The Apache Software License, Version 2.0</name>
      <url>http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.txt</url>
      <distribution>repo</distribution>
    </license>
  </licenses>

</project>

A tile can define the tiles plugin if it wishes to cascade tile inclusion, or it can use the extended tile.xml syntax:

tile.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project>
  <licenses>
    <license>
      <name>The Apache Software License, Version 2.0</name>
      <url>http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.txt</url>
      <distribution>repo</distribution>
    </license>
  </licenses>

  <tiles>
    <tile>io.repaint.tiles:ratpack-tile:[1,2)</tile>
  </tiles>

</project>

Although this will appear to not validate when editing in an IDE, the tile plugin will strip off the tiles section when processing and use it directly.

Build Smells

When migrating from a parent structure, it is worthwhile to take the opportunity to reduce your build smells. You can do this gradually or in one go, depending on how your builds are done. By default, the plugin will strip all bad smells. The following is an explanation of what is stripped and why those smells are bad. Richard and Mark will be putting together a short book with tutorials for a better approach to building using Maven, but this is the short explanation. Note, these are only cleaned from the tile.xml, not from your pom.xml.

  • dependencymanagement - this was always a poor substitute for composite poms. Composite poms - aka a pom only release artifact that stores all related dependencies together. This allows your project to pull in only those dependencies that it actually requires for release, and allow them to be directly overridden. Dependency management is only for declaring the version of an artifact, and not that it is a dependency - it is better and more composable to declare this specifically in a composite pom instead. Use version ranges so changes flow through.

  • pluginrepositories and repositories - see Repositories in POMs is a bad idea - this has always been a bad idea. Get rid of it as soon as possible.

  • dependencies - putting them in a parent or tile prevents your user from exclusion, again composites are a much, much better idea here. Just don’t use this section anywhere other than your actual artifact or composite poms.

Almost made a build smell: - pluginmanagement - plugin management is used in parents to define all of the necessary options for a plugin but not have that plugin actually run during the release of the parent artifact, and also give the child the option of running it. The reason this is bad is that it is mostly not necessary. You should split your plugins up into tiles so that they be pulled into a build as a standalone set of functionality that will always run and be properly configured. Since they will reside in the tile.xml file, they will not be run when the tile is released. However, some plugins are never run automatically - release and enforcer are two examples. These make sense to stay in pluginManagement.

If you need to use them, add them to your configuration section:

pom.xml
<build>
  <plugins>
    <plugin>
      <groupId>io.repaint.maven</groupId>
      <artifactId>tiles-maven-plugin</artifactId>
      <version>2.8</version>
      <configuration>
        <buildSmells>dependencymanagement, dependencies, repositories, pluginrepositories</buildSmells>
        <tiles>
           <tile>groupid:antrun1-tile:1.1-SNAPSHOT</tile>
           <tile>groupid:antrun2-tile:1.1-SNAPSHOT</tile>
        </tiles>
      </configuration>
    </plugin>
  </plugins>
</build>

Composing Build functionality

As a use case, an example of how it will be used for my projects.

Richard will have:

  • java6-tile - for those projects that have to remain Java 6

  • java7-tile - for those projects that haven’t yet moved to Java 8

  • java8-tile - for those projects that are on Java 8

  • groovy-tile - which defines the build structure necessary to build a Groovy project, including GMavenPlus, GroovyDoc and Source plugins

  • java-tile - for Java only projects which include all the Javadoc and Source plugins

  • s3-tile - for our Servlet3 modules, which includes Sass, JSP compilation and Karma plugins and depends on the groovy-tile

  • github-release-tile - for artifacts that release to Github (open source)

  • nexus-release-tile - for artifacts that release to our local Nexus (not open source)

This allows me to open source all my tiles except for the nexus tile, and then decide in the final artifact where I will release it.

Using Snapshots of Tiles

-SNAPSHOT versions of tiles work when installed into your local ~/.m2/repository, however - if you wish to use a published SNAPSHOT - you will need to declare a <repository> in your pom.xml that support SNAPSHOTs. Review the [introduction to repositories](https://maven.apache.org/guides/introduction/introduction-to-repositories.html) section on the Apache Maven website.

If you don’t wish to include <repository> definitions in your project source, declaring them in an activated <profile> in your ~/.m2/settings.xml file is a viable alternative.

Note
This introduces an element of inconsistentcy/non-reproducability to your build and should be done with care.

Parent structure

Tiles will always be applied as parents of the project that is built. Any orignal parent of that project will be added as the parent of the last applied tile. So if you apply Tiles T1 and T2 to a project X with a parent P, the resulting hierarchy will be X - T1 - T2 - P. Thus (see section Additional Notes), the definitions in the parent can be overwritten by a tile, but not the other way around.

However, there are situations where you want to define your tiles in a parent, e.g. when you have a lot of artifacts that are built in the same way. In this case you would want a structure like this: X - P - T1 - T2. While you’d maybe expect it to work this way if the tiles are included in P, due to the way Maven works there’s no way to know where a configuration comes from. To still enable this use case you can manually choose a parent where the tiles will be applied (in this case before P) resulting in the desired structure:

pom.xml
<parent>
  <groupId>group</groupId>
  <artifactId>P</artifactId>
  <version>1.0.0</version>
</parent>
<artifactId>X</artifactId>
...
<build>
  <plugins>
    <plugin>
      <groupId>io.repaint.maven</groupId>
      <artifactId>tiles-maven-plugin</artifactId>
      <version>2.8</version>
      <configuration>
        <applyBefore>group:P</applyBefore>
        <tiles>
          <tile>group:T1:1.0.0</tile>
          <tile>group:T2:1.0.0</tile>
        </tiles>
      </configuration>
    </plugin>
  </plugins>
</build>

Mojos

There are two mojos in the plugin, attach-tile and validate. attach-tile is only used by the deploy/install process and attaches the tile.xml. validate is for your use to ensure your tile is valid before releasing it - this ensures it can be read and any errors or warnings about content will appear.

Additional Notes

Some interesting notes:

  • Tiles support version ranges, so use them. [1.1, 2) allows you to update and release new versions of tiles and have them propagate out. Maven 3.2.2 allows this with the version ranges in parents, but it isn’t a good solution because of single inheritance.

  • You can include as many tiles as you like in a pom and tiles can refer to other tiles. The plugin will search through the poms, telling you which ones it is picking up and then load their configurations in reverse order. This means the poms closer to your artifact get their definitions being the most important ones. If you have duplicate plugins, the one closest to your pom wins.

  • String interpolation for properties works. The plugin first walks the tree of tiles collecting all properties, merges them together (closest wins), and then reloads the poms and interpolates them. This means all string replacement in plugins and dependencies works as expected.

  • Plugin execution is merged - if you have the same plugin in two different tiles define two different executions, they will merge.

  • The plugin works fine with alternative packaging. It has been tested with war, grails-plugin and grails-app.

Final Notes

Tiles-Maven works best when you and your team own the tiles. I don’t recommend relying on open source tiles, always create your own versions and always lock down versions of third party tiles, just like you would third party dependencies.

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