Interview With Christian Dupuis
Integrating the Google Plugins for Eclipse into STS' Extension Install is the Next Logical step.
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 changed....
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 statement?
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 users.
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.