A couple of weeks ago, the Spring Framework project passed 1 million downloads from its home on SourceForge. The true total is probably much higher, as this figure does not include nightly builds or the other sites from which Spring can be downloaded. And, of course, Spring is included in the distributions of a large and growing range of other products. And then there’s Spring.NET…
Most important, Spring continues to gain momentum: the numbers are growing very rapidly. The most downloaded version of Spring is the most recent production release, 1.2.8, which has been downloaded 175,000 times–that is, over 17% of the total. At this rate we will achieve our next million downloads much faster than the first million!
And this is just before a major step forward. With the Spring 2.0 final release coming up at the end of September, and the final release of Spring Web Flow around the same time, the future looks even more exciting. It’s particularly satisfying for me to work with or train on Spring 2.0 (and also, of course to work on it), and it’s always great to see how the new features such as the AOP enhancements and XML extension mechanism excite users and make their lives easier. I have not been as excited about the technology possibilities we have ahead of us since the runup to Spring 1.0 final in late 2003.
The Spring 2.0 release also contains features that will take the already rich Spring ecosystem to new levels. Among other things:
- It's the basis for the Pitchfork project, used in the next version of WebLogic to offer Java EE 5.0 injection and interception features, as well as add Spring features such as more powerful injection and true AOP to Java EE components. Numerous features below the surface in Spring 2.0 (such as the ability to add arbitrary metadata to bean definitions and new container callbacks for very advanced use) make Spring 2.0 even more powerful as a basis for building other frameworks.
- We've done the background work for the upcoming Spring OSGi integration, which will strengthen Spring's value as a basis for server infrastructure and offer benefits to users in the area of componentization, versioning and dynamic deployment.
We’ll also soon be announcing the Acegi Security for Spring will be moving into the heart of the Spring family, under the name Spring Security. Again, new features in the Spring core will benefit users. The 2.0 XML schema extension mechanism will dramatically simplify security configuration, making this excellent product much easier to use.
The Spring team has put a lot of hard work into getting to this point, but none of this would have happened without you!
I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the community. Open source projects have a particularly close relationship to our users and the strength of the Spring community is a huge part of the success of the Spring Framework as a piece of software. Keep the feedback, patches and issues rolling in, and, as ever, we will listen and do our best to help.