Spring Source has changed its maintenance policy (press release). From now on we’ll have to buy commercial support for maintenance releases of the Spring framework if we still want support after 3 months. This worries me a lot as Spring was becoming the defacto standard in J2EE development.
The need for a new book on Java EE is rising and I already got a perfect title for it! How would “J2EE Development without Spring” sound like? The cover :
This book would explain how you could still be agile in your development environments, without breaking your codebase and how you can get around the problems Spring currently has: too bloated, a lot of functionality and a lot of ways to get something done (annotations, various xml configs to do the same).
After the venture capitalists came into the picture, the company isn’t managed anymore by ambitious developers who want to make the J2EE world a happier place. In fact, as Rod Johnson will still be the CEO, a new COO was appointed and clearly states that it is controlled by the Venture Capitalists now! Spring Source has to realize that the community made the Spring framework by embracing it into their development environments, contributing and helping each other around. This gives them also the power to break it again, as there are alternatives that provide the foundational principles of Spring (Guice anyone?). And as Spring doesn’t have an invasive model, it is quite easy, and thus not unimaginable, that a massive switch will take place.
The community currently has a lot of questions regarding this change. Let’s take the 2.5 release as an example. If the policy would apply to this release, the community can only use Spring until version 2.5.1. We would have to pay a lot ($ 22.500 in the case of Ryan de Laplante) if we would like to profit from release 2.5.2 till 2.5.5 (and newer).
A lot of things are unclear at the moment and how Spring will evoluate in the future. Maybe this is an ideal change for the community to profit from their experience and start all over again? There is also a possiblity that the community will start its own Spring Community track. What will be the case and what will be best for the community and J2EE in general?