NetBeans License Magic

As a general rule I don’t include license information at the top of each source file (I’m sure a lawyer would be outraged)  because no one but me should ever see the source. I’ve recently started work on an open source project though so I thought I’d best investigate how to get NetBeans to automatically include some Apache 2.0 license blurb at the top of each source file.

All my projects use Maven so when I turned up this page on defining a project license my heart sank a little. I really couldn’t be bothered to add the license manually each time. Fortunately I quickly discovered that NetBeans has pretty good support for licenses specified in the Maven pom.xml file.

The first thing to do is include a licenses block in your pom file. This is used when building the site to display the license text:

    <name>Apache 2</name>
    <comments>A business-friendly OSS license</comments>

Additionally you will want to include a NetBeans hint property to tell it to include the appropriate header text:


The name that you specify for the license has to be one defined under Tools > Templates > Licenses. Remove the extension and the license- prefix.