According to Rich ( and makes sense ) the remove releases from repository task should not process any artifacts except Maven 2 artifacts with A.b.c-buildnumber standard Maven versions
We would require that version numbers for the artifacts be comparable, this means that they will need to conform to Maven conventions. I think the fallback of string comparison would be too risky, so if parsing a version number doesn't result in an ArtifactVersion object with populated major, minor, and incremental versions then we will not remove the associated artifact.
In 2.7 and 2.8, it does seem to process any non-standard version strings as string and prunes release artifacts in alpha order.
1. Deploy artifacts in a hosted repo at same GA with versions, - deploy them in this order: 'theta', 'beta', 'alpha'.
2. Run a remove releases task against the release repo, with number to keep as 2, repository target as any.
3. Notice when task completes, alpha is removed, beta and theta remain.
Expected: all to remain since version is non-standard.