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pom.xml or settings.xml? What is the best practice configuration usage for these files?

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The best practice guideline between settings.xml and pom.xml is that configurations in settings.xml must be specific to the current user and that pom.xml configurations are specific to the project.

For example, <repositories> in pom.xml would tell all users of the project to use the <repositories> specified in the pom.xml. However, some users may prefer to use a mirror instead, so they'll put <mirrors> in their settings.xml so they can choose a faster repository server.

so there you go:

settings.xml -> user scope
pom.xml -> project scope

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