September 2007 Archives

Does this make a useful feature?

Got any idea for a new feature today that sounds cool and useful now but I'm not sure if it's really so, please advise.

A bit of background:
The upcoming NetBeans 6.0 has file templates based on FreeMarker template engine. Most templates include license header. Each project can specify the license it's using and new files created in that project include the correct license then. For Apache Ant based projects, the magic property is "project.license=foo" in nbproject/project.properties file where "foo" is the name of the license template in Tools/Templates dialog.
For Maven projects I'm looking for "netbeans.hint.license" property in the pom.xml file. As a nifty easter egg, if you happen to be using Apache 2.0 license and have the "licences.license.url" xml element filled in correctly with "http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.txt" value you get the correct header automatically. (Note: If you are using some other OSS license and want that feature as well, send me the url and header content and I'll add it to the list of licenses that ship with Maven support)

Now we are getting close to my today's idea. The Apache license header includes the copyright notice, eg. Copyright [yyyy] [name of copyright owner]. Right now the name of copyright owner is replaced by the username in the resulting new file, however it would be nice if one could specify something more fancy. Like ${pom.organization.name} which would extract the data directly from the pom. With this syntax the Maven project type could make the whole POM available for new file templating. But I'm wondering if that's actually useful. What part of the POM can be used for templating? Please comment.

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