Setting up a sane Maven project

Today I have spent hours trying to get wrangle Maven into letting me set up a sane Java project. The hardest parts were enforcing warnings-as-errors, and getting Maven to shut up a bit.

Some code that warns

My first problem was writing some Java code that causes the compiler to emit warnings. For some reason I can’t understand, my Java 1.8 compiler was not emitting warnings (even with -Xlint:all) for unused variables, use of deprecated methods, or unknown @SuppressWarnings types (suggestions from SO 1752607).

Instead, I had to use an unnecessary cast:

$ cat src/tast/java/ExampleTest.java
public class ExampleTest {
    public void warn() {
        String fixmePlease = (String)"Hello";
    }
}

Now, finally, I got a warning:

$ javac -Xlint:all src/test/ExampleTest.java
src/test/ExampleTest.java:3: warning: [cast] redundant cast to String
        String s = (String) "Hello!";
                   ^
1 warning

Maven compiler settings for warnings-as-errors

I tried a vast set of combinations of properties like maven.compiler.failOnWarning and maven.compiler.fork (as specified in the maven compiler plugin docs) before giving up on properties. Making a property called maven.compiler.failOnWarning seems to have no effect whatsoever, ever.

So I decided I must try the (very verbose) plugin tag containing a configuration tag, as also specified in the maven compiler plugin docs. After a lot of messing about with flags that seemed incompatible, and Maven silently ignoring things it didn’t understand, I came to a working config.

On the way, I discovered that setting the “fork” property to true is a non-starter, because Maven simply drops the compiler output in that case, meaning you can’t see what is going wrong when it does.

Finally, I had a pom file like this:

cat pom.xml
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/maven-v4_0_0.xsd">
    <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
    <groupId>com.example</groupId>
    <artifactId>Example</artifactId>
    <packaging>jar</packaging>
    <version>0.0.1</version>
    <properties>
        <project.build.sourceEncoding>UTF-8</project.build.sourceEncoding>
    </properties>
    <build>
        <plugins>
            <plugin>
                <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>
                <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>
                <version>3.6.0</version>
                <configuration>
                    <source>1.8</source>
                    <target>1.8</target>
                    <failOnWarning>true</failOnWarning>
                    <showWarnings>true</showWarnings>
                    <compilerArgs>
                        <arg>-Xlint:all</arg>
                    </compilerArgs>
                </configuration>
            </plugin>
        </plugins>
    </build>
     <dependencies>
         <dependency>
             <groupId>junit</groupId>
             <artifactId>junit</artifactId>
             <version>4.12</version>
             <scope>test</scope>
         </dependency>
     </dependencies>
</project>

Which manages successfully to tell the compiler to show all warnings, and to fail when it sees one. (Thanks to SO 9192613, among others.)

I dare not change anything, for fear that it will stop working again without any explanation.

Quieting Maven

If you tell Maven to be quiet with -q or -e it will merrily fail the build because of a warning, but not tell you what the warning was.

Maven does not appear to have a command line option to set the log level to display warnings and errors only, but you can force it to do so by setting the environment variable MAVEN_OPTS like this:

MAVEN_OPTS=MAVEN_OPTS=-Dorg.slf4j.simpleLogger.defaultLogLevel=warn mvn clean test-compile

(Thanks to SO 4782089.)

And, with some guesswork (partly based on Configuring Maven) I found that if I put something similar in .mvn/jvm.config I didn’t have to type it every time:

$ cat .mvn/jvm.config 
-Dorg.slf4j.simpleLogger.defaultLogLevel=warn

Failing on warnings, and seeing them!

I don’t know whether to feel triumphant or defeated, but, it works!

$ mvn clean test-compile 
[WARNING] COMPILATION WARNING : 
[WARNING] src/test/java/ExampleTest.java:[3,20] redundant cast to java.lang.String
[ERROR] COMPILATION ERROR : 
[ERROR] src/test/java/ExampleTest.java: warnings found and -Werror specified
[ERROR] Failed to execute goal org.apache.maven.plugins:maven-compiler-plugin:3.6.0:testCompile (default-testCompile) on project unmatcheddrrepair: Compilation failure
[ERROR] src/test/java/ExampleTest.java: warnings found and -Werror specified
[ERROR] -> [Help 1]
[ERROR] 
[ERROR] To see the full stack trace of the errors, re-run Maven with the -e switch.
[ERROR] Re-run Maven using the -X switch to enable full debug logging.
[ERROR] 
[ERROR] For more information about the errors and possible solutions, please read the following articles:
[ERROR] [Help 1] http://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/MAVEN/MojoFailureException

I wish I could suppress double-reporting of the error, and the extra rubbish at the end (and the super-long absolute paths of each file that push the actual errors off the side of the screen), but at this point, I must try and do what I was trying to do in the first place.

Guess how much I am liking Maven at this point.

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