SpringOne 2008 Day 2

The highlight of the day must surely have been Graeme “Grails” Rocher building a basic Twitter app onstage in 40 min. I missed the fun, chose to go to the “What’s new in Spring 3.0″ session by Juergen Hoeller instead.

I won’t repeat stuff verbatim as the slides would be released sometime, but will just jot down my personal impressions from Juergen’s session:

  • Starts with a revision of Spring 2.5 config using annotations. Pretty clear that they now recommend the annotation way (even @Autowired !) and minimize the XML
  • After yesterdays keynote preview I was wondering if EL for Spring would make sense but it does, I am convinced.
  • For example the Spring EL will simplify cases like injecting primitive values (think of a “cacheSize” to be set conditionally). I have a feeling that stuff I am currently doing using a FactoryBean can be avoided with the EL. I am yet to try JavaConfig though.
  • Spring will ship with a home grown EL processor, apparently inspired by the JSF “Unified” EL. So it uses #{} kind of syntax. But Spring EL will be more powerful, can even do method invocations. I have not been following the EL scene closely but I distinctly recall a certain other framework that has this feature implemented already. Who came up with this idea first? Hmm.
  • The EL support will be tightly integrated with Spring “scopes”. Think conversation, session, application – even exotic things like Spring Batch “step” scope. Sounds elegant.
  • Spring will move to an Ivy based custom build and release system in future. Juergen did not say this explicitly but it sounded like they are ditching Maven becuase they want better control over dependencies metadata etc. Juergen said that they would end up using stuff that was / is being tried out in the current Spring WebFlow build system. I had noticed when I tried one of the recent SWF beta-s or RC-s that the build was based on Ivy. If this is true, Maven guys won’t be pleased ;) Anyone care to comment?
  • REST support looks neat I could tell a lot of folks were impressed. @PathVariable ftw!
  • Juergen promises “conversation scope” is coming that solves the “concurrent windows in same browser” problem. Uh oh, sounds like I have heard that elsewhere as well. Do I smell another flame war on the ServerSide soon? *glee*. The slide says matter-of-factly that this feature is inspired by MyFaces “Orchestra”.
  • Next slide brings up “serializability” of session and conversation objects. Solution is proxies that reobtain references on deserialization. Now where have I seen this before? Hmm ;)
  • Spring “inheritance based” controllers will still exist but be marked as deprecated in 3.0 in favor of the annotations. I will miss you SimpleFormController and friends, you have served me well!!
  • But I won’t miss things like the wonderfully named JUnit 3.X support classes like “AbstractTransactionalDataSourceSpringContextTests”. I see myself using annotations for the Spring JUnit 4 support very soon. As someone that’s not particularly fond of annotations, now that’s saying something.
  • Juergen says that his view of Java EE 6 spec progress is that it is delayed, was supposed to be done by end 2008. Word is that they are shooting for JavaOne. Juergen feels that it likely won’t be done even then (June 2009). Hurray for standards. Yay. But some specs have come a long way e.g. JSF 2.0 and JPA 2.0, they may go into Spring 3.0, rest goes into 3.1, 3.2 etc when available.

After that I attended the LinkedIn case study. Interesting, they did a lot of work to customize finer details of how Spring does DI and life cycle stuff. I was not particularly convinced that they needed to go as far as they did – but the message was effectively conveyed that Spring is so easy to extend and bend around to do stuff that you want. For me personally, I had never ever ventured into creating custom Spring XML namespaces etc. and this session gave me some idea as to how to go about it.

After lunch came Jeremy Grelle’s Spring MVC and Spring JavaScript presentation. I had seen most of the slides already, downloaded from one of his talks elsewhere earlier but I did find the demos interesting. Personally I hate mixing JavaScript in your JSP but have to admit that Spring makes things easier than it would be otherwise, typical Spring. This stuff is for you if you are using JSP especially with Tiles – you can do partial refresh of fragments. But the Tiles config looks a little too complex for my liking. I guess I should blame Tiles, not Spring, heh. Jeremy appears to be great fan of Dojo, plugs the session by Dojo member(s) tomorrow. Spring Javascript is currently a wrapper over Dojo, they plan to add other implementations in the future like jQuery, YUI. Sounds a liitle ambitious to me. Spring JS 3.0 will have JSON support and “deep integration with dojo.data”, not sure what that means.

I attended the Morgan Stanley case study at the end which I felt was a “fair and balanced” look at real-life Spring adoption, even having a few slides on what the dev team perceived as Spring limitations – although most points seemed somewhat contrived. Having attended the LinkedIn session earlier it was good to see MS take a somewhat different approach to some of the stuff LI did. Very interesting to see that their architecture was all about message processing (CXF), no app servers, no Tomcat. Instead they bolt a custom TCP channel onto a Spring context. They invested in a Spring subscription and had very positive things to say about it, training, accessibility of SpringSource team etc. Overall I got some nice insights on how to pitch Spring to prospective clients especially those having a lot of legacy code. Very, very nice to see Morgan Stanley talk about killing their in-house frameworks and consolidate on stuff like Spring JDBC. They damn well got it right. Some of the clients (and pointy haired bosses) I have dealt with in the past (and wanted to knock some sense into) come to mind. Yeah if you are reading this blog, you know who you are!!

Here is my twitter feed if you are interested.

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One Response to SpringOne 2008 Day 2

  1. Pingback: riaeye » Blog Archive » SpringOne带来了新的Tomcat Server、VMware伙伴并提供ActionScript

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