The Apache Software Foundation on Wednesday is officially announcing its open source Maven 3.0 software build system for Java projects, which supports multi-core processors. In development for two years, Maven 3 is faster, more reliable and extensible than Maven 2, according to Apache.

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Users have reported improvements in build time of 10 to 40 percent. Perhaps the biggest feature in version 3.0 is a parallel build capability. "That allows developers to take care of multicore processors now," said Jason van Zyl creator of Maven and CTO at Sonatype. Cores can be used in parallel to speed up build times, van Zyl said.

Maven, van Zyl said, is used by estimated 3 million to 4 million Java developers and offers patterns and blueprints for building software. "You can think of it as being analogous to Java EE (Enterprise Edition)," he said.

Version 3.0 moves Maven toward a path to OSGi modularisation via true plugin classpath isolation. "[An OSGi ] model would allow plugins to be developed safely," without any conflicts at runtime, said van Zyl.

The regression test suite in version 3.0 has been improved for the Maven core and plugins. Other features of version 3.0 include replacing the Plexus dependency injection framework with the standard Google Guice framework. With dependency injection, developers can build alternative implementations of subsystems in Maven, for extensions or customisations.

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An improved Project Object Model (POM) in Maven 3.0 makes reporting of errors easier. Also, the release improves handling of local repository data to prevent errors. Maven depends on having a local copy of all artifacts for  a build, van Zyl said.

Maven 3.0 is backward-compatible with Maven 2, Apache said. Officially released on October 8, Maven is accessible at the Apache website.