Raphael Pieroni is leading an effort to make Archetype a seamless and end-to-end tool for prototyping Maven projects. The work has been carried out over at the Mojo project (https://svn.codehaus.org/mojo/trunk/mojo/mojo-sandbox/maven-archetypeng) but is approaching a state where it can be brought back to Apache.
We currently have a system where the creation of Archetypes is dead simple. Using default information you simply use "mvn archetype:create-from-project" and it will generate your Archetype for you. Very simple. Next we are going to create a few simple additions that will allow this Archetype to be installed or deployed. We are also going to make some tools to automatically ensure the Archetype created is intact. So the very first goal is to allow someone to generate Archetypes, verify them and deploy them. So we are rapidly approaching ther reality where samples projects can be continuously integrated and periodically be deployed in Archetype form. This is what Archetype was meant to be and Raphael has made this happen. Once the process is seamless we wil align all the package names with the Apache namespace and bring the code back to the Maven project. We are close. Many thanks to Raphael!