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  • Discuss Spring Web Flow 3 Development

    Dear Spring Community;

    Development on Spring Web Flow 3 has begun in earnest. You can track its development by:

    - Reviewing the source
    - Tracking commits
    - Monitoring the roadmap

    Web Flow 3 is targeting release with Spring 3.1 later this year, and we are actively working towards our first milestone release.

    We are presently working on a ground-up flow engine implementation designed for Java 5+/Spring 3+ that captures the lessons we learned from Web Flow 1 and 2. Web Flow 3 will benefit tremendously from many of the Spring 3 APIs it helped foster, including the Spring Expression Language (SpEL), a generalized and more powerful conversational state management system, and an improved data binding, validation, and type conversion system. In addition, we are in the process of fleshing out a new Java @Flow definition model as an alternative to XML flow definition. This model was inspired by Rod Johnson himself and provides a strongly-typed, stateful compliment to MVC @Controllers when controlled navigation is required. You can review the first sample Java flow definition and associated integration test here and here.

    I invite those interested in tracking Web Flow 3 development to review the work so far, and get involved in the discussion. This thread is here for you to post specific questions or comments you have about Web Flow 3.
    Last edited by Keith Donald; Mar 26th, 2010, 02:17 PM.

  • #2
    Hello Keith

    In addition, we are in the process of fleshing out a new Java @Flow definition model as an alternative to XML flow definition.
    Really very interesting and well approach

    I would ask have too some annotation support to handle the exceptions, idea little crazy, but I recall when I worked with SWF 1.0.x series with the Action class and such classes like my web controllers in MVC should catch some Exceptions to give the appropriate error message in the jsp.

    Furthermore the support for Dojo and DWR would add new features perhaps?

    I guess that SWF 3.0 should fix or accept a fine integration with Spring Security 3.0.0 right?, since SWF 2.0.x not does

    Best Regards



    • #3
      Cool to see that SWF is on its way again!

      What kind of backwards compatibility situation are you striving for with SWF3? Should this end up being a drop in replacement for SWF2?



      • #4

        Continued support and compatibility at the XML flow definition language level is a goal. At the moment, though, this is not something we are focusing on. The early milestones of Web Flow 3 are focusing on flushing out the Java-based @Flow Definition Model and the revised Java 5+/Spring 3+ flow engine implementation. For sure, it will be interesting to see how things evolve once that work is complete. Will Java quickly catch on as the preferred language for defining flows in the future? What Web Flow 1 & 2 upgrade paths will make sense? Time will tell, and the user feedback we receive after the first few milestones should tell a lot.

        Speaking of Java-based Flow Definition: the JIRA issue tracking this enhancement is here. There is already some good discussion going on in the comments there.


        • #5
          Will Spring Faces and Spring JavaScript have a place in the future Spring Web Flow 3 development? For me it seems like the dev freezed.


          • #6
            Thanks for the info. I would have liked to know what was going on way before this but still.

            I've had some discussions about if it was possible to integrate SWF 2.0.x with Spring 3. And from what I see in the list of bugs for swf 2.0.9 that's the first priority.

            I'm glad to see that next week we will be able to upgrade webflow projects to swf 2.0.9 + Spring 3 (3.0.2 hopefully, 3.0.1 did have some nasty bugs) + Spring security 3.0.2 + tiles, ajax and whatever is needed.

            And I really do hope that for swf 3 spring-js is promoted and out of webflow.

            Thanks again for the info.


            • #7

              The upcoming Spring Web Flow 2.0.9 will ship a version of Web Flow 2.0.x tested against Spring 3 as well as JSF 2 (for the Faces module). This will allow existing Web Flow 2.0.8/2.0.x users to more easily complete their Spring 3 upgrades. In terms of new features, there are no new features planned for the Web Flow 2.0.x series. 2.0.9 focuses purely on bug fixes, mainly compatibility fixes with newer versions of Spring Framework, Spring Security, Tiles, and JSF.

              Regarding Web Flow 3, we will continue to provide first-class support for JSF, and especially JSF 2.0. At this time, we do not expect to enhance the spring-faces component library (it was never intended as a full-blown component library). Instead, we will be focusing on solid integration with the leading JSF component libraries, the primary two being PrimeFaces and Rich Faces.

              In terms of Spring JavaScript, we expect to promote its Ajax / server-side partial rendering support to the core Spring Framework project for Spring 3.1, as part of the general purpose web / web mvc support. You'll also see more Ajax examples of using standard jQuery and Dojo client-side, with Spring (via MVC and Web Flow) caring for the control & partial rendering server-side. We also expect to encapsulate much more boilerplate JavaScript in the future through smarter use of JSP tags (Roo is already doing this now in its early 1.1 release work).

              Hopefully you can see a trend towards simplification and streamlining. Watch for 2.0.9 coming out in April, and Web Flow 3.0.0 M1 to follow featuring the new Java Flow definition model. We expect most existing users to stay on the 2.0.x series until 3.0.x enters Release Candidate later this year and we have completed the migration guide. We'll also be working hard to make the 3.0 milestone releases as easy as possible to evaluate - we definitely want to make sure we consider as much of your feedback as we can during that period.
              Last edited by Keith Donald; Mar 30th, 2010, 04:22 PM.


              • #8
                Any update?


                I checked the links above. Last commit I see is in August. In JIRA, it appears that there's active work on 2.3 but that the 3.0 milestones have come and gone.

                We're experimenting with web flow, and I was just curious to hear an update on the web flow roadmap.




                • #9
                  I have looked around quite a bit for information on SWF 3.0 and it is alarming the lack of information and sheer number of unanswered posts from curious engineers like myself as to its status. Based on the success of SWF 2.X I can't imagine its a dead project but the lack of information has me wondering whats up... Does anyone know of an informative site, that is current, not the year old references to slipped deadlines set forth on the SWF 3.0 JIRA page??? Sorry to resurrect stale threads but its less work than starting a new one and building context, and programmers are inherently lazy.


                  • #10

                    I'll second this - I'm a webflow 1 user looking at upgrading to 2, but curious to see what is in 3, and the lack of activity for quite some time does make me wonder on the project status.

                    Maybe MVC and webflow will converge into a Java based (as opposed to XML) annotation driven single system, but the lack of updates on webflow 3 does seem alarming, even if not just to move the goalposts.


                    • #11
                      Is Spring Webflow going to survive?

                      We use a lot of Spring Webflow in our Enterprise Application so I come and check often on the status of the releases of the different Spring projects. While I've seen that Spring Webflow 2.3 came out in late February of 2011, I have not seen any activity on the Spring Webflow 3.0 release which was slated for release in September of 2010. Last time I looked at the planned release dates there still hadn't been any updates. It's now June of 2011 (not too far away from a year after Spring Webflow 3 was supposed to be delivered). Is Spring Webflow going to survive? I hope we can get some replies on this matter since we have spent a lot of time and money developing using Spring Webflow.


                      • #12
                        can RichFaces be used in booking-portlet-faces portlet demo?

                        I want enhance booking-portlet-faces demo' ui, if choose RichFaces, can Spring Web Flow support such use cases?

                        if SWF can not support it ,can SWF 3.0 have such a feature?

                        Thank you very much.


                        • #13
                          Support for JSF 2.0 based Portlet Bridge functionality

                          Starting with version 2.2, Sping Web Flow was successful in providing its own Portlet Bridge functionality based on JSR 286 and JSF 1.2. While I didn't try this with versions prior to 2.3.0, it definitely works seamlessly with this version, even in the multi-portlet case (meaning having several portlet on one page). This is a great thing since you don't have to bother with various bridge implementations any more and their potential incompatibilties with your current portlet runtime environment.

                          In order to get further rid of cumbersome Portlet Bridge compatibility questions when moving ahead to JSF 2.x platforms within the portlet realm together with advanced JSF 2.x component libraries, I would strongly vote for continuing along the same path w.r.t. JSF 2.0. In other words, for Spring Web Flow 3 I'd like to tip the scales in favor of providing bridge functionality based on JSR 286 and JSF 2.0, being aware of the fact that this combination has not been standardized yet.


                          • #14
                            Will SWF 3 continue to support PrimeFaces?


                            • #15
                              Any comments regarding portlet bridge?

                              Regarding the portlet bridge subject, I hoped and would still like to see some comment by one of the Spring/Spring Web Flow team members