Technologists building the Spring Framework for Java application development are mapping out improvements to the platform as well as determining which versions of Java will no longer be supported by upgrades to the framework. Version 2.5 of the open-source framework for is set for release on November 19. Key improvements include greater use of annotations and metadata. The metadata is information that supplements Java code by providing extra information that can tell the Spring container how to process a class or a method.
"Many of the new features in Spring 2.5 concern really making extensive use of the new language features in Java 5 and also Java 6," said Rod Johnson, founder of the framework and CEO of Interface21. Java 5 features, for example, more options to add metadata inside Java source code, he said. With version 2.5, greater use of annotations is offered for configurations. Also, developers with version 2.5 can define components using XML outside Java or define components using source-level metadata, Johnson said. By maintaining metadata outside of Java, developers can change the configuration of an application without recompiling Java code.