I've been struggling hard with Maven this week, and its really be bringing me down. I love the theory of Maven, but the execution is so awful I'm very close to eating crow and switching back to a Ant build, maybe using Ivy.
One of the things that concerns me with Maven is that for a tool whose goal is to be a "project comprehension tool" (giving quick access to Java source, Javadoc and other reports) it's almost impossible to find the source or get any insight into how Maven is built. Yet so much about Maven is impossible to find, with broken links, missing and out of date documentation, and other hazards running rampant.
I've been hunting around for 30+ minutes, trying to find the source to MavenCli. It's in the maven-core library. Good luck finding a link to that off the Maven web site. Through arcane means and Google searches I eventually stumbled across http://maven.apache.org/ref/ but 2.0.7 is not present there. So they rolled out a release without external documentation? I guess that's OK when you need a magical incantation to even find the documentation.
Well, I'm getting closer to my answers, but I'm probably still shiv'ed because Maven developer guidelines mandate zero documentation in the source. Or anywhere else. In fact, I believe the maven-fuckyou-plugin exists to strip documentation out of your source and seems to be enabled by default in all the Maven modules.
Well, eventually I answered my own question: -Dmaven.repo.local=directory allows me to control where the local repository exists. This is for my Bamboo server that needs to build multiple branches that share the same version numbers, so I don't want them to use the same repository.
Anyway, that's what it should be (from the tiny fraction of the code that's visible). But it blows up real good, apparently unwilling to download files into this repository, and spewing errors that make it appear as if artifacts were not present in the remote repository.
So, when Maven is useful it is very useful, but when it gets in your way, it totally blocks you.