Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some further comments on the 1.0 release

I'd like to make some comments about the timing of the 1.0 final release of Impala. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the aim of Impala is to extract every last ounce of productivity and flexibility out of Spring-based development, while at the same time remaining true to the principles that made Spring popular in the first place - simplicity and testability. I believe that with this release I can confidently claim that these aims are being achieved, and that Impala provides one of the most productive and flexible environments for building Spring-based applications.

Impala has been used in real world projects for almost three years. Over this period it has undergone extensive refactoring to ensure that the architecture is right - flexible, maintainable, and open to the kinds of extensions which are likely to be introduced in the coming months and years. After over 5500 subversion commits, I am pleased to say that I am comfortable that this goal has been achieved.

While Impala has allowed me to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity in projects in which I have used it, I have also been mindful that more widespread adoption requires adding support to commonly requested features, even ones not necessary in my own projects. Much of the effort put into the project in recent months supports these objectives. Impala now has decent support for Maven, and also allows for fully modularised web applications, including their constituent classes, JSPs and resources.

This work has gone a long way to extending the capabilities of Impala and offering a greater choice in the technology combinations that will work out of the box with Impala. This work is continuing. Nevertheless, I am now comfortable that the feature set in Impala is suitable for a 1.0 release.

I have really enjoyed developing Impala and look back on the work with a lot of pride. It has been a fun project, full of technical challenges. However, there is still plenty of work to do, and plenty of exciting areas to explore. To this end I would very much welcome more direct involvement from the community in helping the project to achieve it's potential. This involvement can take any form you might imagine, from testing the framework in different environments, to building a web site for the project, to adding tool support, through to working on new samples and even new feature set.

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