I meant to submit this for inclusion in changes 2.1, but I guess I just missed it (2.1.1maybe?).
We use the attached goal as part of release:prepare to ensure that the changes.xml has correct content before a release is done (changes:announcement-generate) is executed during release:perform.
It really does two things:
1) Ensures that the current version is represented in the changes.xml file (no special logic to do this, it's just in AnnouncementMjojo.getLatestRelease()).
2) Ensures that the current version's release date isn't "TBD" or "tbd". This could be easily changed to be "in SVN" through configuration. If you want to make this the default and I'll add config to our organizational pom to use "tbd", fine with me.
Since using this goal, we've eliminated a cause of release failures, so that's something...