I used to like Maven, and then I started using it.

I just spent an entire work day trying to wedge a 100-line JUnit test into a Maven build. Among many other dead ends, I didn't realize that if your pom has packaging "eclipse-plugin", then the meaning of several other mvn options and pom directives changes. Thus, much of the documentation I found was simply incorrect for our usage.

Everything in Maven-land seems to go like this. Yes, for whatever you are trying to do, you can often find some way to get it done. However, you can expect hours of trial and error before you get there.

I don't think it has to be like this. I've seen good build setups, including on million-line code bases. A key idea with the good ones is that builds aren't just a sequence of commands; they compute a set of binaries, given a set of source files as input. They are declarative, not imperative.
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