Animal Sniffer Maven Plugin

While looking at the Maven plugins at Codehaus, I just stumbled upon a maven plugin named Animal Sniffer. This plugin could be a great tool for people working on frameworks where API's are published to the user. There is always a problem of API loosing the compatibility across versions (for eg. making some method final looses backward compatibility). These kind of problems are very very difficult to trap.

I wanted to evaluate this plugin for instrumenting our internal API against which following versions can check compatibility. Firstly I am not sure if Animal Sniffer can be used in this way but I believe it could be.

I tried to play with the plugin a little where I figured out that vresion 1.5-SNAPSHOT cannot be downloaded from the Codehaus snapshot repository and older versions 1.4, 1.3 encounter an NPE when I run animal-sniffer:build goal.

Does anyone have experience with Animal Sniffer?