Learning new tricks

Well, this last week was rather demanding, we still worked quite hard (surpassing the 50 weekly hours recommended by XP practices) and we are progressing nicely. Our development platform, for the moment, is based on eclipse loaded with some good plugins, subversion (really great versioning server), trac (a sort of bugzilla but more project managment and wiki oriented), and cruisecontrol (having troubles getting it compiled on gentoo but you can get the official jar). As far as the eclipse plugins are concerned I will name only a few, subclipse, SpringIde, eclipse-wtp 0.5, and some for modelling uml diagrams.
Yesterday we had a really nice session working with the spring framework. It’s based on the IoC and Dependency Injection design patterns and gives your application a lightweight container that’s easily extendable. For instance, your code want’s to do database access right? Well, if you write a server side code, you’ll use JNDI to get the connection from the application container (ex. Tomcat). Now your code is expecting that there will be a JNDI resource and that means that you’ll have to test it on the server or you’ll have to add more code so you’re ending up with a bigger project that’s even more difficult to mantain. Here comes spring. You use it as a lightweight container and to associate references through it’s factories using a consistent model. I can’t say that this technology is something that will stay with us but I must say that it’s the single sweetest thing I’ve seen by far lately even though it kind of breaks the OO paradigm. We even did a HelloWorld with it 🙂 (that accessed mysql remotely and postgres locally and even a version for Hibernate). The framework is really nice, for the moment we’re only looking the DAO and OR mapping API’s but we see some other sweet thigs in it as well.
For out italian friends a nice intro on spring with a j2ee example by mokabyte (part I and II).

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