When prompted for a template after running mvn generate, the list of available templates is so large that I do not see them all and also I do not get enough descriptions of what they do. So the question was, how do I find out what all the available templates are(after de prompt) and what they do?
You will have to increase the buffer size of your command line window. I have mine set to 9000 lines. And I have yet to find a convenient set of descriptions for those archetypes.
BTW, this is easier to do within Eclipse using the m2eclipse plugin - there you get a scrolling list box containing all the plugins and the ability to filter the list to see only what you are interested in.
<rant>As a side comment, here is something I don't understand: an archetype is a Maven artifact, and thus it has a POM, and one of the values in the POM is <description>, so why doesn't the archetype plugin display the description also??? Well, squeezing more info into the default 80 columns is always a challenge, but the m2eclipse plugin doesn't have that excuse. But then I bet that if the archetype plugin did show the description that we would find out that most archetypes don't have descriptions. But hey, why comment/document anything - the code should be all the documentation you need, right?</rant>
I believe the maven archetype generate tool is a really nice feature. But, somehow, as it is, does not really help me. I want to use a template in order develop a JSF+Hibernate+Spring project quickly(at least the integration of frameworks). But, there is little explanation/support for the archetypes themselves. I have been wasting almost a week trying to make sense out of the available archetypes and I am still not there. The purpose of integrating the frameworks and dependencies quickly is gone. I could have managed the interation of the components much quicker doing it myselft without this tool. I know that there is an Appfuse archetype that does that, but it is still not enough. This tool needs a better guidance.
Unfortunately, we don't work on Maven, we just try to help you make sense of it. Eclipse with its filter capability might help you here, it would at least limit the selection to the Appfuse archetypes. You could then create a project from each and see if any meets your needs. If I really needed the archetype capability I would probably modify the code to add the description to the output and submit that back to the Maven team, but I don't need that at this time.
You could also create a POM from scratch. That is what I did the first time. And after that I simply copy an existing POM into new projects. And I keep on telling myself that one of these days I will create my own archetypes so I can start off new projects with the stuff I usually use (logging config, helper classes, framework, etc.) for all projects.