Friday, October 14, 2005

From Simple To Dumb?

Now what? There is an on-going effort to simplify Spring's configuration lead by James Strachan himself under the jolly name of XBean and this terrifies me to death.

First: when Mr. Strachan talks of simplicity people using Struts and other Strachian offspring can reasonably start to wet their pants.

Second: Spring is already simple: who on Earth needs to make simplicity simpler, especially when the risk is to make things simplistic if not dumb!

True XBean offers a richer XML syntax where beans are represented by actual elements but this remains XML, no harder, no simpler. Would a new DOS syntax have made it simpler? The true simplicity came from a layer above.

Hence, what could make Spring simpler would be a powerful Eclipse plug-in that would allow me to not only wire my beans but also to take advantage of other features of the framework (JMX exposition, AOP, MVC and, why not, Webflow): this would hide XML completely and really make Spring simpler.

Post-Scriptum: People knowing NxBRE could argue that this post is a cheap shot as I did exactly the same when I introduced a richer syntax for the Flow Engine by XSL-Ting the general de-typed XML Schema into a more specific one. To my defense, let me point out that I have never claimed that the new syntax will be simpler, the goal was to make it richer...