I want to suggest a feature discussed on dev-list:
A <dependency> currently must have <groupId>, <artifactId> and <version>.
If you have a complex multi-module project you typically have lots of project internal dependencies.
Typically these dependencies point to the same version that is currently active (on disc/head).
So for the main usecase you have the version of a module redundant (a lot!)
causing lots of maintenance overhead, that might be covered by release-plugin
but might be not (in my case and there are others as well).
Following the principle "Conventions over Configuration", a coming version of maven should allow
to omit the version of a dependency if a pom.xml is loaded for a build (NOT from repository)
AND the reactor contains a module that has the same groupId and artifactId. In that
case maven will behave as if the version was declared in the pom.xml with the version-value of
the module in the reactor. In any other case maven will fail.
The feature can be combined with
MNG-2576 so that it also makes sense if just a single
module or a sub-tree of the project is to be build.
Additionally the ArtifactInstaller and ArtifactDeployer have to guarantee, that when the pom.xml
is installed or deployed, that the omitted version(s) are automatically filled in.
This feature will therefore be 100% compatible with older versions of maven and will never
be visible in the repository. If a pom is loaded from any repository (including local repo)
maven should NOT accept it in order to avoid accidental usage or even miss usage of this feature.
Besides it is just an option that would NOT hurt anybody not interested in the feature.
But for those that get crazy maintaining large projects and for some reason do NOT follow
the philosophy of release-plugin, this feature would bring final freedom!