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20050223 Wednesday February 23, 2005

Quote: Spring Live has all the right information on how to get started using Spring Category: Author

I received the following e-mail from a Spring Live reader today (who also happens to be the CIO of a company):

I just wanted to say thanks for Spring Live.  It has been a great resource
for me while I try to learn Spring (and Hibernate).  I'm just starting to
re-architect a commercial application to use Spring and Hibernate as EJB's
were causing us some large maintenance issues.
Spring Live has all the right information on how to get started using
Spring.  I especially appreciated the chapter on testing as this has been a
big problem for us.  You provided some great information and tips on
integrating tests into a spring enabled application.

Receiving messages like this always makes my day! (2005-02-23 17:34:01.0) Permalink Comments [5]

RE: More Ranting About Using Word for Book Authoring Category: Writing

Bruce doesn't like using Word for authoring. Personally, I don't mind it at all and find it quite useful. After spending some time tonight writing documentation using DocBook's XML format, I think Word is a better authoring tool. Sure it sucks for CVS and diffs and all that - but it's a much more efficient tool for me to use. If I had to write a book using DocBook's syntax, it might take me as long as it's taken Bruce! All kidding aside, I'm finding it very painful to write in XML. Here are a few reasons why:

  • In Word, when I want to bold or emphasis something, I use Ctrl+I and Ctrl+B before I start typing. With XML, I have to wrap stuff with <emphasis> and <emphasis role="bold">.
  • When pasting code in Word, I simply copy and paste it from Eclipse, and I get syntax hightlighting to boot. With XML, I have to use <programlisting> and escape any special XML characters using something like this tool. I'm sure you could get color-coding somehow on code listings, but I've yet to see an example in print or docbook-generated sites on the web.
  • With Word, if I want to put a link on a word or phrase - I highlight it, hit Ctrl+K and paste the URL in. Return and I'm done. With XML, I have to write <ulink url="link">phrase goes here</ulink>.

I'm assuming there's XML/DocBook authoring tools that might nullify Word's advantage, but right now I prefer the Word over XML approach. (2005-02-23 01:38:17.0) Permalink Comments [10]

20050222 Tuesday February 22, 2005

JSF-Spring 2.7 Released Category: Spring Live

In Chapter 11 of Spring Live, I mentioned that the JSF-Spring project didn't work with Spring 1.1+. Today, the JSF-Spring Team released 2.7, which is Spring 1.1-compatible. Looks like I have some updating to do!

Personally, I don't think that this library offers any more needed functionality than Spring's DelegatingVariableResolver. I could be wrong though. If you use the JSF-Spring project and found that the DelegatingVariableResolver was insufficient for your needs - please leave a comment and let me know why. (2005-02-22 10:26:21.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20050221 Monday February 21, 2005

Acegi Security changing rapidly Category: Spring Live

It looks like the Acegi Security team is going to give me a run for my money. It's been pretty easy to keep up with Spring b/c it doesn't change a whole lot and they're very good about backwards compatibility. Acegi Security is another story.

The same night I sent Chapter 12 for tech editing, I noticed Ben sent the following e-mail to the Acegi Security mailing list (SF archives don't seem to have it):

I've just committed to CVS a FilterChainProxy class, docs and tests which make web.xml significantly simpler for Acegi Security-based applications. It means you only need a single FilterToBeanProxy in web.xml, which delegates to your FilterChainProxy. The FilterChainProxy is defined like this:
<bean id="filterChainProxy" class="net.sf.acegisecurity.util.FilterChainProxy">
 <property name="filterInvocationDefinitionSource">

This is quite an improvement because the 0.7.0 version requires you to define 4 filters in your web.xml. The 0.8.0 version will require only 1. Ben also said he's adding support for digest authentication, anonymous users, remember me and configuration-attribute defined AuthenticationEntryPoints. All this will be in Acegi Security's CVS repository in the next couple of days, and they're targeting a release in a week or so.

What does this mean for Spring Live's Chapter 12? Exactly what you'd expect - when it's published, it'll reflect the latest release. ;-) It just might take us a bit longer to get it through tech editing. (2005-02-21 18:29:04.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20050220 Sunday February 20, 2005

Chapter 12 (Security) off to Tech Edit Category: Spring Live

Phoofta! I finally finished Chapter 12 and sent it off to tech edit. The chapter seemed to take a lot longer than I thought it would, but in the end it was 16 days, which is probably about average. For some reason, I thought I could get it done in 10 days. I think it's a pretty solid chapter, but the editors and you guys will be the judge of that. I expect this chapter to be published sometime in mid-late March. Dion and Amy will likely need 2 weeks each to do their magic.

In other news, Matt sent me an e-mail tonight saying that Spring Live is now listed on Amazon UK. The crazy thing is it's already got a review! My guess is this is from the PDF version that SourceBeat used to sell through Amazon. (2005-02-20 04:32:47.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20050219 Saturday February 19, 2005

Security Chapter Update Category: Spring Live

Working on Spring Live this week has been a doozy. I thought I'd finish writing the Security Chapter on Monday, but now it's Saturday and I'm still not done. The good news is the end is in site and I hope to finish later tonight. The bad news is that it's a lengthy mother (58 pages so far). The first half covers J2EE security and how to setup container-managed authentication as well as SSL and all that jazz. I expect experienced J2EE developers to skip this section and go directly to the second half. The second half covers Acegi Security in-depth. Not only does it cover authentication (and the different types/realms), it also explains (and shows!) how to secure method invocations and how to use ACLs to secure domain objects.

Due to the length of the chapter, I'm going to leave out a couple of sections I hoped to have in my original outline. I decided not to cover LDAP-based authentication because it's still in Acegi Security's CVS sandbox, and likely to change. I'm also going to leave out Single Sign On with CAS because it's a bit configuration-intensive and the chapter is already pretty long. Finally, I'm going to leave out Acegi's SSL support. Comparing this chapter to other Spring books, I've heard Pro Spring doesn't cover Acegi Security at all, and Spring in Action covers everything but ACLs. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The good news is I will cover the above features in a future release. And I'll sweeten the deal for you: if you're a Spring Live subscriber, and you can't figure out how to use CAS, SSL or LDAP with Acegi Security - let me know and I'll put together a how-to for you. Part of the deal is you have to make a concerted effort to figure it out from Acegi's documentation.

As always, if you feel this chapter (or others) are missing something, please enter an enhancement request in JIRA. You should also know that if there's enough enhancement requests to update existing content, I'm willing to shuffle the update plan and do 2 months of updates before the next chapter.

Later: I should mention that this chapter does have a lot of screenshots and code in it (like most chapters in Spring Live). I did a brief comparison of the J2EE and Acegi Security sections:

  • J2EE Section: with code + screenshots: 24 pages. Without code + screenshots: 15 pages.
  • Acegi Security Section: with code + screenshots: 28 pages. Without code + screenshots: 14 pages.

The section on Acegi Security contains a great deal of code (mostly XML). It's a very configuration-intensive framework, but it really does a great job of showcasing how powerful AOP can be for implementing security.

(2005-02-19 23:49:49.0) Permalink Comments [6]

20050218 Friday February 18, 2005

Wanna know more about hooking Spring into WebWork, Tapestry and JSF? Category: Spring Live

In Chapter 11, there are a few references to Appendix A - which has code samples for implementing a small CRUD webapp using WebWork, Tapestry and JSF. All the examples hook into Spring for the service layer and Hibernate on the backend. Today, Appendix A was added to the PDF version of the book.

Download Spring Live's February Update (7.7 MB, 574 pages)

The Appendix is 65 pages; mostly code and screenshots. Enjoy! (2005-02-18 16:02:40.0) Permalink Comments [0]

Spring XML Databases Framework Category: Spring Live

If you want to use an XML Database and XForms with Spring, you might want to checkout the Spring XML Databases Framework. Personally, I like relational databases and but I can see how XML databases might be useful for document and content management systems. (2005-02-18 15:14:40.0) Permalink Comments [1]

Spring Live: The Amazon Version Category: Spring Live

I received 8 copies of Spring Live in the mail yesterday. These were sent to me from SourceBeat so I could autograph them and send them to family members that will never read it. It was pretty cool when I opened it up and thought "I wonder which update chapters this has in it." Print-on-demand is cool, the books are the same as the PDF available on SourceBeat's site. That might change today with the release of Appendix A, but I was still a bit awe struck. Overall, the print version looks pretty good. The only complaint I have is the images are a bit scratchy. Oh well, if you want pretty (and colored) images, buy the PDF. ;-) (2005-02-18 12:07:06.0) Permalink Comments [1]

Norm Deane's Web Framework Challenge Category: Spring Live

Norm Deane is doing his own Web Framework Challenge. Much like I did in 2004 with AppFuse, he's porting his application from Struts to JSF, WebWork, Tapestry and Spring MVC. He's just finished up the JSF port and has a few comments. I'd answer them, but I have a chapter to finish! Maybe tomorrow. Good luck Norm - I hope to enjoy the ride and experience as much as I did.

Which is my favorite web framework now? I'm going to have to say I like Tapestry and WebWork the best, but that's just tonight. ;-) (2005-02-18 01:42:25.0) Permalink Comments [2]

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