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  • Spring Richclient Status & Future

    Hi,

    As you may know, we had planned to have a Spring Richclient 1.0 release
    somewhere at the end of Januari. It's March already and no release has
    been pushed out. Don't start to panic just yet, I'll let you in on the
    details.

    Somewhere in Januari I contacted the people of SpringSource to discuss
    the position of Spring Richclient within the Spring universe. As we're
    in different parts of the world, it takes some time to schedule a
    meeting online and contact the right people, thus time was creeping past
    the previously set release date. Our goal with this meetings was to not
    only discuss the present and future of the project but also the
    involvement of SpringSource. The outcome is the following.

    Current codebase:

    We have set a new target date for the release: March 17. All bugs should
    be fixed while documentation will be provided as needed. We don't want
    this to delay the release date anymore and interfere with our future
    plans. If documentation is requested at some point, we'll provide this
    on the developer blog. This release will have maintenance updates as
    requested.

    Future plans:

    We've decided to start a new codebase and re-brand the project to Spring
    Desktop. One of the reasons behind this is the possibility to update the
    existing core techniques after some research. The current codebase core
    is about two years old, quite stable but not state-of-the-art anymore.
    Another reason is that this allows us to start with the modularity in
    mind and review the existing codebase.

    We're doing some research in several areas right now and plan to start
    with the codebase right after the Spring Richclient 1.0 release. We'll
    take advantage of this new start to shift to the SpringSource
    infrastructure (svn) as well. The aim is to align Spring Desktop 1.0
    (mind the name!) with the next big Spring release train somewhere in
    October.

    SpringSource will help us out by providing the infrastructure, being
    involved in the defining of the project (scope/roadmap) and devoting
    some time for research and coding. They've made it clear that they find
    this project to be valuable and want to align it with the future Spring
    release.

    I hope this clears things up and removes any doubt about where this
    project stands and is heading towards.

    ps: if you're enchanted by these words don't hesitate to pull up your
    sleeves and help us out by sending in patches/documentation or just by
    providing us with your feedback at the forum
    (http://forum.springframework.org/forumdisplay.php?f=28) or the
    developers maillist ([email protected]).

    Kind Regards,
    Jan

  • #2
    Okay,

    so what's about applications developed with/for Rich Client Platform? Will the new "desktop" thing be compatible (easy or at least possible path of migration).
    Or is the new project a complete new thing?

    So at the moment I "read" Spring RCP failed and will be dropped asap...


    And now I have one big wish for the new project:
    Please try to avoid those "magic" things where several beans implement interfaces that are automatically called by Spring. And don't call "Application.getInstance()" anywhere.
    At the moment it not possible to run parts of the application without a started Application.
    And therefore it is very hard/impossible to write small unit tests without several lines of Spring related code.

    As rule of thumb I suggest that it should be possible to run a Spring Desktop application without Spring (when all the necessary wireing is done by hand).


    Thanks for your work. Hope the new project will get some drive and release early

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Shake View Post
      so what's about applications developed with/for Rich Client Platform? Will the new "desktop" thing be compatible (easy or at least possible path of migration).
      Or is the new project a complete new thing?
      You could look upon the Spring Desktop as a new project with a lot of influence from Spring Richclient. We don't want to have all the bagage of the current codebase and have our hands tied. This is the moment to fix things at the core where needed. So there will probably be a lot of changes, but I can't predict the future and put a number on how much of a change it will be.

      As for the migration path, I'm using Spring RCP on a few projects as well so I do want to provide some kind of migration path.

      Originally posted by Shake View Post
      So at the moment I "read" Spring RCP failed and will be dropped asap...
      Failed? No surely not. The current codebase is quite stable in its own. We do acknowledge that it needs a big refactoring and therefor opted to rebrand the project instead of having a 2.0 release. This allows us to start with a clear view and as said without having our hands tied to the current codebase.

      Spring Richclient will be maintained, releases will be deployed as needed.

      Originally posted by Shake View Post
      And now I have one big wish for the new project:
      Please try to avoid those "magic" things where several beans implement interfaces that are automatically called by Spring. And don't call "Application.getInstance()" anywhere.
      At the moment it not possible to run parts of the application without a started Application.
      And therefore it is very hard/impossible to write small unit tests without several lines of Spring related code.

      As rule of thumb I suggest that it should be possible to run a Spring Desktop application without Spring (when all the necessary wireing is done by hand).
      This already illustrates some of the hard-to-fix parts in the current codebase (eg modularization) and a reason for Spring Desktop. Any remarks/concerns are welcome and will be noted.

      Originally posted by Shake View Post
      Thanks for your work. Hope the new project will get some drive and release early
      That's what were aiming at, thanks,
      Jan

      Comment


      • #4
        is the time for a wish list ???

        i agree with you, RCP works fine, but it's an alfa version and a mayor refactoring it's needed.


        Is the time for a wish list for the new version???

        - Modular, perhaps with OSGI
        - Better suport for MDI.
        - Something similar that eclipse perspectives.
        - new Event layer.
        - Simpler custom binders



        this is a great new for RCP users

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't wanna miss the start of the new "Desktop" project. Is there any mailing list up now? Any code repository?

          Comment


          • #6
            Spring Desktop Vision

            Hi all,

            we have started using Spring including Spring RCP some time ago. However, there is a significant group of people in our company that push for a mainstream rich client platform, i.e. Eclipse or Netbeans RCP. I like Spring very much and would really like to use it consistently in all layers, without locking to much into the world of Eclipse or Netbeans.

            Even though I fully understand that it would be asking too much to get a detailed picture about the newly born Spring Desktop, wouldn't it be possible to flesh out at least some vision, where the new project would be going, how it positions itself wrt to the aforementioned platforms.

            Just some info to gain more buy in?

            Thank you

            a.

            Comment


            • #7
              It seems that the release goal of "March 17" is overdue for more than a month now. Or perhaps you were talking about March 17 2009?

              Are there any updates on this subject yet?

              Comment


              • #8
                What do you mean by saying that release is overdue? Spring Rich Client 1.0 was released on March 17, 2008. AFAIK, no release dates for Spring Desktop were announced yet.

                Andrius

                Comment


                • #9
                  According to Jira, Spring Desktop is scheduled for October 13.

                  Overdue is the maintenance release of Spring RCP (1.0.1) which has been scheduled for April 21.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey guys,

                    Here's a thought:

                    Why don't you dive into Spring RCP's internals, get familiar with it and offer to help out whenever and wherever you can? Currently, there aren't many people actively engaged in RCP's development.
                    I try to make time to answer as many questions as I can, it would be nice if more people did that . I'm hardly an expert, but I've worked a lot with RCP and that seems to be enough...

                    I do notice that there are a lot more people trying out RCP since it's release last month, but not a lot of people are contributing back to the community, which is a shame. Only the community can tell what in RCP and the future Desktop should be included to be what people want.

                    As for the 1.0.1 release, you'll have to check with Jan, but he's quite busy at the moment. If there are bugs which you really need fixed, put them in Jira or vote for one of the existing ones (or better yet, provide a patch).

                    PS: don't take this personal, this is a general observation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, it is really hard to get in touch with the development of Spring Desktop. No repository, no mailing list, nothing...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hmm,

                        the repository is on Sourceforge, there's a mailinglist on GMane (gmane.comp.java.springframework.rcp.devel).

                        It's all on the rcp website:

                        http://spring-rich-c.sourceforge.net...ail-lists.html
                        http://spring-rich-c.sourceforge.net...epository.html

                        Be careful when stating such things . People that were involved with RCP are likely to be involved with Desktop. The RCP team is setting up the infrastructure for Desktop with the Spring guys, so no worries.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've been using Spring RCP for at least a couple of years now... here are my two cents as to what is needed feature-wise:

                          1. You've got to provide a decent set of canned page layouts for the common cases. For example, one common scenario would be to have a tree control or list on the left and a tabbed pane on the right, or some variation of that. The average user is never going to bother to learn to write a custom page factory for their layout needs, and it is VERY common to want more than one View on the screen at the same time (think nicely docked views ala Eclipse, and not disorganized frames in a virtual desktop). I've tried all of the open source docking frameworks and they all suck, so I've given up hope on a non-commercial docking solution. An open source docking framework for Views is not adequate...I would be ashamed to roll out an app with VLDocking. We need some canned fixed layouts to choose from.

                          2. Jide-Spring RCP cures #1 via Jide Docking, but it is a commercial solution. We need a poor man's version without docking that just places 2-3 views in commonly needed ways. For example, provide a canned page layout that creates a vertical split with one view on the left, and one on the right.

                          3. A 'Perspectives' concept. Jonny Wray has done some work in this area as part of his Jide-Spring RCP, but this should be part of the core Spring RCP. Please take a look at his work.

                          4. A Job/Task scheduler for background threads, that allows user to see a list of background tasks are in progress. Similar to the one Eclipse has.... you can open a dialog that shows the progress of MORE THAN ONE background thread in a list, and individual tasks can be stopped. It seems like I saw this in the new JSR: Swing App Framework...perhaps that code could be integrated...if it exists.

                          5. A plugin/update mechanism!!!! This would be great. It doesn't even have to allow for on-the-fly updates. A restart of the app would be okay. Start small...even if it is something as dumb as downloading a JAR and programmatically modifying the application context with additional beans.

                          6. Need the concept of an EDITOR AREA, where editors exist...again, similar to Eclipse.
                          Here I'm talking about the tabbed pane residing in the center of the screen. Jonny Wray has this in his Jide Spring RCP framework and it works great. However, we need a non-commercial alternative, and it should be part of the core framework.

                          7. This is far less important and totally out of scope...but it doesn't hurt to ask... Provide integration with the Jide Dashboard, so that Views can be used as Dashboard widgets. I've worked with the Jide Dashboard and their architecture is already simiilar to the View concept. You can just implement an additional interface and you're ready to go.


                          The Spring RCP project is excellent, and it can definitely overtake Eclipse/Netbeans as the platform of choice if any serious effort is put into it. I hope this helps.


                          -Trey

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