Properly versioning and releasing code can be fiddly if it’s done properly. If you’re not cutting corners, the process involves several steps. If these steps are performed manually the process is error prone and time consuming. I’ve often found it’s easier just to cut a few corners. Why change the version in the Maven pom when you could perform all releases against a single SNAPSHOT version? Why tag the release build when you could probably work out the release version from a Subversion log? Why put release artifacts in a release repo when you can rebuild from a historic version?
I’m not going to argue that you shouldn’t cut corners when creating a release build (all the same, just don’t!). I will argue that the process need not be fiddly. So long as a Maven project is correctly set up, the whole thing can be done with a single command. Wire that single command up to Hudson, Jenkins, CruiseControl or whatever and you can create properly versioned release builds in a single click or (if you’re so inclined) as a scheduled task.
At the heart of this is the powerful – though slightly inflexible – maven release plugin.