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InfoQ Homepage News Interview: Rod Johnson discusses the Spring Portfolio

Interview: Rod Johnson discusses the Spring Portfolio

In this interview from QCon San Francisco, SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson discusses the origins and philosophy of Spring, the Spring Portfolio, Spring Web Flow, Spring Batch, Spring.Net, the partnership with Tasktop Technologies, and community involvement and utilization of Spring.

Watch Rod Johnson discusses the Spring Portfolio (24 minutes).

From the interview:

[...] the fundamental concepts are very consistent across the Spring Portfolio. Clearly the Spring brand is something that has a great deal of value, and it would be very destructive to the community around Spring to brand things that didn’t share the values and architectural principles and indeed the quality of Spring, as Spring. So the things that you will typically see in a Spring Portfolio project is the combination of simplicity and power. We have a very strong view that partly comes out of the fact that Spring is extremely heavily used in large enterprises. We have a very strong view that you must never leave the user hitting a wall. So it’s fine to have a naïve solution that handles simple cases, but what happens if there is a more complex case? Can the developer go every step of the way with the framework and find for the more complex cases that they still have a good solution? If you look across the Spring Portfolio you see that combination of simplicity and power, where essentially each of those projects makes something easier. But on the other hand, they also use a lot of architectural principles that are very common, very core to Spring such as, for example, the notion of pluggability. We’re firm believers in the use of interfaces. If you look for example at Acegi Security for Spring or you look at Spring Web Flow or Spring Batch, you will find that there are lot of strategy interfaces that enable you to customize very deeply how the frameworks work for advanced scenarios.

Rod Johnson discussing the Tasktop Technologies partnership:

[...] the Spring tooling initiative that we have undertaken with Tasktop Technologies is focused around Eclipse and specifically it is focused around the Mylyn Eclipse environment. This actually comes back to my points about the commonality across the portfolio. Looking at what Mik Kersten has achieved with Mylyn, there are clearly a lot of values that are very similar to what we have tried to do in Spring. So for a start, one of the things that we’re really proud of in Spring is that we don’t just commoditize something that is out there commercially. For example it wasn’t like the Spring Framework was a zero license cost dumbed-down version of some commercial software. It created a new product category. And indeed there have since been some commercial imitators of parts of what Spring does. We saw a lot of the same values in Mylyn. We really think that Mylyn is a stunningly good idea, I think Mik Kersten is a true innovator in the tooling space. And we think that Mylyn has the capability to provide dramatically enhanced productivity for Java developers. We think that is true regardless of whether you use Spring, but if you are using Spring we are going to be providing an Eclipse distribution based on Mylyn and also incorporating Spring IDE, AJDT, all the various plugins that you would want as an enterprise developer using Spring. And we believe that will harness the power and focus of the task oriented approach in Mylyn and make it very very relevant to Spring developers.

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