Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Spring Framework becoming a configuration nightmare?

I had a crappy day dealing with Spring Framework 3.0 M4. I've been using Spring since 2004 and I've been a big fan of its use. Lately however, I've become concerned that Spring Framework is turning into another EJB, a configuration monster. I've been using Spring 3.0 M1 for a while now and recently upgraded to M4 to get access to some new Spring MVC annotations, @RequestBody and @ResponseBody. These annotations allow you to bind directly to the request body and response body, respectively. They're very helpful if you are using Spring MVC for ReSTful web services. They seemed relatively innocuous, but after some time with them, they are much more complicated to configure than one might expect from Spring. Still don't have a working solution with these new annotations. Part of it is the documentation isn't where it needs to be, but that will hopefully be remedied by the time 3.0 is GA. In the meantime, I'm stuck on the damn configuration of view resolvers, mapping adapters, and what not. Configuration kills! I've had the chance to work on Grails and I must say, I am very much longing for another opportunity to work on that platform. I realize that Grails uses Spring, but Grails also keeps Spring away from, behind the covers for the most part, so I can build solutions for my client instead of muddling through configuration acrobatics.


  1. I'm a long term Spring fan, but I must admit that I'm beginning to feel this way too.

    I think Spring in general is getting too heavy. It has grown so huge with so many sub projects, I'm finding it tough to keep up.

    I agree with your sentiments about Grails - once you've worked in that kind of environment, you wonder why all this configuration work is necessary or desirable.

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