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Spring (2.0 or 1.x series) is compatible with jdk1.3. Spring 2.0 however, needs to be compiled on a jdk 1.5 and but with the vm target set to 1.3. This is needed since some of the sources have annotations and a compiler that understands them is required - you can find more details about the building process if read the readme files on the CVS (where the all the Spring sources are placed along with the build scripts).