As seen here, http://www.nabble.com/How-to-execute-a-plugin-prior-to-the-reactor-sorting--tf2062739.html#a5682349. I also have the need to bind my maven-pde-plugin to a phase before the reactor sorting of project build order happens. My plugin is being developed to build eclipse plugins, features, fragments, update sites and products. Right now I can build plugins and features. However the order has to constantly be managed by the user taking information from the eclipse descriptors and adding it to the pom file. For plugin projects I can bind to a phase before the compile phase and dynamically analyze the eclipse plugin descriptors and add the necessary dependencies/resources to the MavenProject instance and all is well. For feature projects, I also can dynamically analyze the eclipse feature descriptor and add the necessary resources to the MavenProject instance. However, features depend on other plugins, fragments and features. While I can dynamicaly add the plugins, fragments and features to the MavenProject as dependencies they are not taken into context as the reactor has already computed the sorting order.
What would be perfect is if there was a "super-init" phase that plugins could bind to and be executed in before the normal declared lifecycle happened. Therefore no matter what the lifecycle was, the "super-init" phase would be available. Then plugins could do things like augmenting the super-pom with build #'s/identifiers, dependencies, dynamic projects, etc all before maven gets going. That would solve the problem myself and others have as well as be 100% backwards compatible. This super-init phase (please pick a better name) would e available to reactor and non-reactor builds. A more specific fix would be to allow plugins to ask the reactor to reevaluate the build order.