Maven, like any other opensource project, relies heavily on the efforts of the entire user community to be ever vigilent for improvements, logging of defects, communicating use-cases, generating documentation, and being wary of other users in need. This is a quick guide outlining what members of the Maven community may do to make the system work better for everyone.
There is already a comprehensive Guide to Helping With Maven. That guide focuses upon beginning as a supporter, with information on how to help the coding effort.
Documentation is currently a very high priority for the Maven community. Please help out where ever you can, specifically in the work-in-progress FAQ Wiki.
Just as any other healthy project requires a quick turn-around on defects, and a transparent method of users to have their wishes heard, so too does Maven need your help. Refer to the Issue Tracking page.
For Maven developers, commiters, PMC: there is a Developers Guide.
The concept of a public repository built into the core architecture of Maven makes it necessarily community-centric. There are a few simple things that Maven users may do to help keep that community thriving.
The best thing that a user can do is to set up their own remote repository mirror containing the projects needed. There are several tools to make this simpler, such as Nexus or Archiva. This reduces strain on the Maven central repository, and allows new users to get acquainted with Maven easier and quicker. This is especially important for power-users and corporations. The incentive behind this is, controlling your own servers can give you desired level of security and more control over uptime, resulting in a better experience for your users. With that said, keep the following sentiment in mind:
DO NOT wget THE ENTIRE REPOSITORY!
Please take only the jars you need. We understand this is may entail more work, but grabbing all 9+ Gigs of binaries really kills our servers.
As an extention to the previous statement, if you have access to a large data repository with lots of bandwidth, please consider becomming a mirror for the Maven central repository.
As you can imagine, thousands of users downloading can put quite a strain on one server. If you wish to be a mirror, please file a request in the Maven Project Administration JIRA project.
If you have any projects that you wish others to use, host them on your own public repository. That way, your users can simply add your repository to their own project repo list, and viola! Maven can keep you and your users in synch, growing your user-base due simply to its new-found ease of use.
These are a few of the watering holes around which Maven users tend to gather.
Maven has a number of Mailing Lists, and the Maven User List is specifically dedicated to answering questions about all Maven things.
Log into the #maven IRC channel on irc.codehaus.org or with web irc client