Today I attended Rod Johnson’s Spring 2.0 seminar in London. Rod spoke about the new features of Spring 2.0, which is scheduled for release at the end of September.
Simplifying Spring seems to be one of the main goals of 2.0. The new configuration syntax will make things a lot more readable; it’s also possible to create custom tags, so the new syntax isn’t limited just to Spring beans. Another addition is that Spring Web MVC now has a tag library that can be used when creating JSPs.
Spring 2.0 also supports some of the new language features of Java 5, such as annotations and varargs. Interestingly, a quick survey during the seminar indicated that the majority of developers are still using Java 1.4; relatively few are working with Java 5.
After the seminar I got the chance to speak to Rod and asked him a couple of questions. Firstly I asked about the relationship between Spring and other open-source Java component projects, such as Jakarta Commons. Rod said that Spring would continue to work alongside these projects, and that the intention of Spring is not to replace useful code that’s already out there.
Secondly I asked Rod what his thoughts were on the size and complexity of Spring; some critics suggest that Spring is becoming too unwieldy due to all the areas that it addresses. Rod told me that the key to managing this complexity is Spring’s modularity – that some parts of Spring can be used without having to embrace all of its modules.