mitigate through maven-replacer-plugin phase issue

Hi, Happy Friday!

We often want to change certain application properties in Maven build process. A very common one is the build timestamp. A nice plugin we can use is the maven-replacer-plugin. Unfortunately, setting the <phase> tag in this plugin is not always straightforward, especially when you deal with different kind of packaging such as bundle for Felix, instead of jar files. Often the replacer runs too early (when the file being replaced has not been moved into the target folder) or too late (when the actual package has already been built).

I found a way to mitigate through the situation, a method may not be so orthodox but works every time.

Assume your file myapp.properties has items to be replaced on contains this line:

build.timestamp=@2017.0324.1420@

And the pom.xml can have this property and the replacer plugin config:

 <properties>
 <timestamp>${maven.build.timestamp}</timestamp>
 <maven.build.timestamp.format>yyyy.MMdd.HHmm</maven.build.timestamp.format>
 </properties>

....

<plugin>
 <groupId>com.google.code.maven-replacer-plugin</groupId>
 <artifactId>replacer</artifactId>
 <version>1.5.3</version>
 <executions>
 <execution>
 <phase>clean</phase>
 <goals>
 <goal>replace</goal>
 </goals>
 </execution>
 </executions>
 <configuration>
 <file>${project.basedir}/src/main/resources/myapp.properties</file>
 <replacements>
 <replacement>
 <token>@[\d]{4}\.[\d]{4}\.[\d]{4}@</token>
 <value>@${timestamp}@</value>
 </replacement>
 </replacements>
 </configuration>
 </plugin>

Then each time the plugin is run at clean phase, it will look for the regex pattern, in this case:

@[\d]{4}\.[\d]{4}\.[\d]{4}@

and replace it with the a current timestamp so the resulted line becomes:

build.timestamp=@2017.0324.1428@

This way, each time the build timestamp can be replaced correctly at the earliest phase of the build. When use this property in application, simply remove the pattern holder, in this case the two @’s before using it.

Again it is not super elegant or orthodox. But I have dealt with the phase issue with this replacer plugin and felt the time spent on it is totally not worth it. The above mitigating solution gives me expected result every time Maven runs.

Cheers!

-TY

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