Oh Spring Source – where are thou!

There has been a lot of fuss about the hard love Spring Source is going to give to the community, main discussions being held at TSS-thread. I’ve spent considerable amount of time trying to figure this thing out and have a dialogue with other people to see if there will be a middle ground in all this.

Latest posting that I made voices – from my point of view – an important thing that Spring Source has not adressed.

”The main thing for Spring Source to understand now about all this griping and moaning is that things have a logical side and emotional side, and we have gripes in both of them – but only one of them is key.

On emotional side people are griping as the feeling about Spring Source has changed. You were the poster boy, you were the home of all things good and pure – and now you are BEA, except better and cooler, and you still have an open source codebase.

On more logical side people are griping that adressing just _initial_ stability is just silly and yes even though you can and could get untagged changes from the repository for the latest release there are always dangers with that and. Well yeah. You know it.

You don’t see Sun Microsystems pushing people Glassfish that has just initial stability issues adressed and requires you to either subscribe their excellent support and additionally quality tested enterprise version. As far as I know, they have always provided – and will provide – very solid releases.

Maybe this is also an emotional thing, as it _might_ be that three months is to adress the stability issues is enough – but as people have shown from examples in history that there is a doubt. And three months? What is that as an arbitrary timelimit and what do you wish to achieve with setting it as it is?

What should people feel and think about it, when new release comes? ”Oh great, now quickly test, test and try everything before 3 months are passed” if at the same time nothing guarantees that things spotted and reported will be fixed by then. You know, you only promised to adress the initial stability for three months – and hey thanks for the testing, our customers appreciate it and see you in the next major release which will come eventually, but if you would like to actually do something in the mean time – you can always call our sales team!

I don’t see the jive in that.

It can be that the intention is something else, but what the wording is and how people communicate things make it sound so.

How things were weren’t that much different from what you will promise, but promising it in that wording makes it blatantly clear in a bad way. Previously there was this implicit assumption that there was a mutual best effort to improve the software and releases would be made when they were ready and community would help spring source engineers to adress problems by testing bugs in nightly releases etc. The explicit wording changes how things feel and so far the communication hasn’t really changed it.

Throw us a bone and give us the tags to repository for releases in latest version and everything is back where it was.

I’m sorry for being such a pest and dick trying to educate you in things that you evidently already know. I have my vested interest in seeing Spring Framework succeed and as I don’t see myself working in large financial institutions that would be purchasing subscriptions, I’m voicing my thoughts in an attemt to understand and see where the world is actually going.”

Faq about the policy:

http://www.springsource.com/products/enterprise/maintenancepolicy/faq

Thread:
http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?m=c.reply&thread_id=50727#

Forum commentary:
http://forum.springframework.org/showthread.php?t=60565

Blog commentary:
http://www.gridshore.nl/2008/09/23/when-good-guys-start-looking-like-bullies/

http://java.dzone.com/news/qa-with-rod-johnson-over-sprin

I really hope that something good still comes out of this and we don’t see Spring Source as the new Jboss. I mean, I really like the people in Spring community and the atmosphere on the forums etc. All the time I have really felt that people working with Spring are not total dicks.

Where is bileblog when you would need it’s refreshing and elegant touch on the subject?

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