Interview With Christian Dupuis

Integrating the Google Plugins for Eclipse into STS’ Extension Install is the Next Logical step.

Jessica Thornsby

JAXenter speaks with SpringSource Tools Team leader Christian Dupuis, on the STS and Google Web Toolkit integration.

The SpringSource Tool Suite has seen some changes as of late;
last year, SpringSource announced that STS was to be released as
free software, followed by the recent announcement that STS will be
integrated with Google Web Toolkit. JAXenter spoke with Christian
Dupuis, leader of the Tools Team responsible for STS, about this
new integration, and how the development process of STS has

JAXenter: You recently announced SpringSource
Tool Suite’s integration with Google Web Toolkit. What is the
motivation behind this collaboration?

Christian Dupuis: The integration with the
Google Web Toolkit (GWT) arose from the joint work that VMware and Google are doing
related to open cloud portability. Providing a first class
integration between Spring and GWT was a natural part of this work
because GWT is used as the presentation/user interaction technology
for a lot of Google cloud applications. With STS our goal is to a
create a single download that will provide developers with all they
need to build Java applications with optimum productivity.
Including GWT tools is part of that goal as is providing support
for other choices for view technologies.

JAXenter: SpringSource define SpringSource Tool
Suite as an attempt at “a single download that will provide all you
need to build Java applications with optimum productivity.” How
does the new Google integration, fit in with this mission

Christian Dupuis: With the SpringSource Tool
Suite (STS) SpringSource wants to provide all the development tools
needed to build Spring-based applications tightly integrated in one
environment. We think it is important to make it as easy as
possible for somebody to get started with our technologies. This
integrated experience starts when downloading our native installers
for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. This installer will guide the
user through the installation of STS as well as tc Server Developer
Edition, Apache Maven and Spring Roo. After installation, on first
launch, STS will automatically configure Maven, Spring Roo and most
importantly tc Server so that those are usable by the developer
without any manual interaction. With this a developer can use
Spring Roo or one of the STS template projects to bootstrap and
start working on a new Spring application; certainly STS supports
all existing Eclipse projects as well.

Additionally, STS features a unique extension install mechanism
that allows users to easily install add-ons from us or
third-parties. This is from where users can install a special
version of the Google Plugins for Eclipse; once the Google plugins
are installed, STS will activate additional functionalities.

With both the installers and the extension install, we make it
as easy as possible for our users to install our technology stack
as well as third-party extensions. Once installed, STS provides
various options to get started with a new Spring and Groovy and
Grails project. Our goal is to not require the user to manually
configure anything to get started.

Integrating the Google Plugins for Eclipse into STS’ extension
install is the next logical step for us to provide a compelling,
complete and easy-to-install development environment to our

JAXenter: You recently released SpringSource
Tool Suite 2.3.3.M1. What functionality does this add to the
SpringSource Tool Suite experience?

Christian Dupuis: The 2.3.3.M1 version is
focused around adding support for new OSGi-based architecture of
Spring Roo. This new architecture allows to dynamically install and
remove Roo add-ons without the need of restarts. Users can now use
and configure installations of Roo 1.1.M1 and beyond with STS.

We also spent time to significantly improve the AspectJ
Development Tools (AJDT) which are shipped as part of STS.
Especially support for Intertype Declarations has been improved to
provide a more seamless experience when working with Spring Roo
projects.dditionally, we added support for and integrated with the
Google Plugins for Eclipse. This means that users can use Google’s
tools for GWT and GAE right inside STS with little to no manual
configuration: STS automatically configures require project
settings for Maven and the GWT support when the user imports a
GWT-based project. User can run and debug their Spring Roo-based
GWT project very easily using this integration.

JAXenter: Last year, you released SpringSource
Tool Suite as free software, and pledged to make the development
process more ‘open.’ What steps have SpringSource taken to achieve
this openness?

Christian Dupuis: All STS development can now
be monitored in our issue tracker. This is where the distributed
development team interacts and how we plan our releases; we do all
that in the open. The issue tracker is also the place for the community to
raise issues and feature requests.

Additionally, users and STS developers discuss issues and
question in the popular Spring Community Support forums.

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