Hi Paolo, thanks for taking a look at this!
ZOOKEEPER-537 for background.
Support for maven repo was contributed by Thomas & Hiram, I have limited/no experience with this to provide good answers to your questions. We've gotten a number of requests for Maven support, but not much help. We have limited maven experience so there may be some issues to shake out.
Until the release has been approved by the PMC we only publish the release candidate archive. It includes the generated pom and jars destined for maven deployment. That's not sufficient to test?
create-cppunit-configure is the c part of the build, it requires libraries such as cppunit to be installed. You might be able to get around this by using "ant compile-test" or "ant test-core-java" to compile/test the java code respectively.
I don't know about maven naming conventions, is there a pointer to docs on whether to use sources vs src?