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Happy Birthday Tony Hoare

Last Friday was Tony (C.A.R.) Hoare’s birthday. Who is C. A. R. Hoare? If you’re a programmer, you’re probably familiar with Quicksort–an elegant and surprisingly simple sorting algorithm that is blazingly fast in most cases. If you studied computer science, you’ve almost certainly implemented Quicksort in numerous languages, and will recognize the animation on this page. Hoare invented Quicksort in 1960, and it’s now the most widely used sorting algorithm.
Quicksort in Action

Among other contributions, Hoare also invented the Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP) language used to specify the interactions of concurrent processes. A smart guy, who has made a notable contribution to the evolution of computer science.

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Capturing failures and system state (part I)

At The Spring Experience, I hosted a session various aspects. One of them was the Hibernate synchronization aspect that I described last week. Another was an aspect capable of capturing first failures and system state, sometimes called First-Failure Data Capture (FFDC). I hosted this session to show off some aspects that are very useful, but that people might not have come across in practice yet. I often hear people asking about aspects other than logging, tracing, transaction management and security. The Hibernate synchronization aspect and the FFDC aspect are nice examples I think.

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Spring .NET 1.1 and container configuration

It has been quite a year for Spring.NET. We have gone through two milestone and two release candidates before the GA release in December. The first chunks of code for the 1.1 release were made way back in late 2004 by Aleks Seovic who started work on the ASP.NET framework. In short, it has been a long time in the making. Being the end of year, a natural time for reflection both past and present, I’d like to say thanks to the other members of the project and the Spring.NET community for all their contributions and support. I’m looking forward to a great 2008!

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Before a JDBC operation, flush the Hibernate Session (includes TSE example code)

Mixing code in one and the same transaction that uses an Object-Relational Mapper with code that doesn’t, can cause issues with data not being available in the underlying database when it should be. Since this is a situation I come across once every now and then, I figured it would be helpful for all if I write down my solution to this problem.

In short: what I will present in the remainder of this post is an aspect that triggers the underlying persistence mechanism (JPA, Hibernate, TopLink) to send any dirty data to the database.

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Is it a Tomcat, or the Elephant in the Room?

Sometimes important changes sneak up. Such changes aren’t driven by marketing campaigns, but by many individual decisions; there’s no fanfare; by the time they’re observed, they have surprising momentum. I mentioned one such development in my opening keynote at the recent Spring Experience conference: the steady rise of Tomcat.

Recently we’ve begun running polls on SpringFramework.org, and some of the results are interesting. The question Which application server(s) do you use? produced the following results: BEA WebLogic (various versions) and JBoss AS shared first place among Java EE app servers on 16% each, with IBM WebSphere just behind on 15% and Glassfish putting in a creditable performance on 5%. But the easy winner was Tomcat, on 37%.

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Spring Integration Samples

In my recent post, I had mentioned that the Subversion repository for Spring Integration would be publicly accessible soon, and I’m pleased to provide that link now. You can checkout the project with the following command:

svn co https://anonsvn.springframework.org/svn/spring-integration/base/trunk spring-integration

If the checkout is successful, you should see the following directory structure:

spring-integration/
  +--build-spring-integration/
  +--spring-build/
  +--spring-integration-core/
  +--spring-integration-samples/
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Spring Integration: a new addition to the Spring portfolio

Yesterday morning I presented a 2-part session at The Spring Experience entitled “Enterprise Integration Patterns with Spring”. The first presentation included an overview of core Spring support for enterprise integration - including JMS, remoting, JMX, scheduling, and email. That presentation also included a high-level discussion of several of the Enterprise Integration Patterns introduced in the book of the same name by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. In the second presentation, I officially unveiled “Spring Integration” - a new addition to the Spring portfolio. Spring Integration builds upon Spring’s core support while providing a higher level of abstraction largely inspired by those patterns. Here I would like to provide a brief overview of the topics I discussed in that session. You can also read two articles about Spring Integration that appeared yesterday on eWeek and InfoWorld.

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What's New in Spring Security 2?

I was cruising the blogosphere today and encountered one of the shortest blogs I’ve ever read. To quote nearly the entire entry, “Every time you use Acegi, a fairy dies. The sad thing is there really isn’t anything better around…”.

Between our community forums, developer lists, JIRA, user conference BOFs, training, support, consulting and team blog, we receive a great deal of community feedback. There is little doubt that many people have sought improvements to the Spring Security (formerly Acegi) configuration format, and we’ve invested a lot of time in making that possible.

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Spring Dynamic Language Support and a Groovy DSL

Since the introduction of Spring dynamic laguage support in Spring 2.0 it has been an attractive integration point for Groovy, and Groovy provides a rich environment for defining Domain Specific Languages (DSL). But the examples of Groovy integration in the Spring reference manual are limited in scope and do not show the features in Spring that are targeted at DSL integration. In this article I show how to use those features and as an example we add bean definitions to an existing ApplicationContext with a Groovy DSL from the Grails distribution.

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Spring Framework Maven Artifacts

By popular demand, the Spring Framework Maven artifacts are now being uploaded to the Spring Snapshot Maven Repository. You can find details about all of the Spring Portfolio Maven repositories in my previous post but I’ll reprint the details for the Spring snapshot repository here.

The Spring Snapshot Maven Repository is located at http://s3.amazonaws.com/maven.springframework.org/snapshot. Using this repository requires you to add an entry to the <repositories/> element in your POM. It should look like this:

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