“Holy software glut, Batman!”

Has anyone noticed the plethora of software technologies surrounding Java? I mean, Sun is bad enough:

  • J2SE
  • J2RE
  • J2EE
  • J2ME(with multiple profiles. A few years ago, I couldn’t even figure out which parts to download!)

But now, there are IDEs, and all manner of creations for project building, build management, etc., etc, ad infinitum. On the Apache Jakarta Project’s web site, there are no fewer than 19 projects! Honestly, I can’t really figure out the difference between some of them. I’m evaluating tools for my company’s project, trying to get a feel for what’s out there. There’s a lot. But, can someone tell me what the core difference is between Jakarta Ant and Jakarta Maven? Maven claims to be a project oriented build tool, whereas Ant is a build tool that, uh, well, builds projects (furrows brow, scratches head).

Okay, I know that choice in software is a Good Thing®, but really, as a potential user, it’s nice to be clear on what my choices are. If I can’t figure out what a product is and what it does and why I should use it after reading the homepage (I mean like 5 paragraphs), then I get really frustrated. I’ve had to do this many times with many different products, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

Okay, feel better now.