This release is all about graduating into a mature project to ease consumption of Aether by other Eclipse projects.
The project leadership certifies that the APIs in this release are "Eclipse Quality".
As with prior releases, the API documentation for this release will be published online at http://download.eclipse.org/aether/aether-core/current/apidocs/.
The wiki with introductory documentation is up-to-date and available at http://wiki.eclipse.org/Aether.
Last but not least, we maintain a Git repository dedicated to runnable example snippets at http://git.eclipse.org/c/aether/aether-demo.git/ that users can simply clone and import into their workspace to take the code for a test drive.
Aether does currently not support localization, all exception/log messages use English as language.
The target audience for Aether Core are application developers, not end users. Likewise, the Aether Ant Tasks support build/release managers. As such Aether does generally not provide any user interface.
While Aether's API still requires more exhaustive evaluation by a wider community, the implemented functionality itself is considered production-ready. For example, Apache Maven 3.1.x makes use of Eclipse Aether for artifact resolution and distribution.
Support for the legacy Codehaus Plexus IoC framework has been removed. That said, Aether still integrates smoothly with the Plexus shim provided by the Eclipse Sisu project due to its interopability with JSR-330.
With the overhaul of the repository connector SPI in 0.9.0.M3, some types around repository layouts and transfer state had been deprecated. This code has been removed for this major release.
The JARs making up the Aether Core release are equipped with manifests that enable direct usage in runtime environments implementing the OSGi specification like Eclipse Equinox or Apache Karaf.
The components forming Aether's implementation carry annotations to support dependency injection in compliance with JSR-330. In recognizing Google Guice as a popular implementation of this standard, Aether also ships with a ready-made Guice Module.
As far as the project lead can tell, the community around Aether is still small. There are no notable code/patch contributions but recent feature requests in Bugzilla and occasional questions on the aether-users list indicate a basic interest in the project, both in its core library and the tasks for Ant.
Besides Apache Maven, the only adopters that have come to our attention so far are Grails and Eclipse Code Recommenders. It seems worth to note that members of the Code Recommenders project have grown used to Aether to the point where they are able to occasionally help out with questions on the user list.