Spring: Simple getting complicated?

It's no secret that large, unwieldy products tend to get larger and less wieldy over time. It's not anybody's fault, really; it's just that large, unwieldy products have huge user bases, all of whom use it for somewhat different things, all of whom pay good money for it, all of whom want their needs met and their use cases improved. Then one day everyone wakes up and realizes the thing is a mess, and start looking for something easier to use.

That, more or less, is what happened to Java Enterprise Edition, which led, among other things, to the advent of the Spring Framework. Now Spring itself is evolving to add new features and please more customers with its 3.0 release; will this kill some of the simplicity that made it so popular in the first place.

A lot of the new features sound like they'd be quite appealing -- REST capabilities! Streamlined Spring bean configuration! Shortcut annotation! But the thing that really jumps out at me is the introduction of Spring expression language (SpEL). Yes, I know that in general Spring precludes the use of the endless XML configuration files required by Java EE; but I think once you've introduced your own expression language, things are starting to get kind of gnarly.

But maybe I'm wrong! What's your expectation for Spring Framework 3.0?

This story, "Spring: Simple getting complicated?" was originally published by JavaWorld.

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