What a year makes?
8 sept 2011 the Spring Social team proudly posted a post announcing Spring Social 1.0 under the title "What a year makes".
Indeed, a lot had been accomplished by providing a library that abstracts much of the complexities of oauth integration. As a result a pletora of implementations appeared both Spring and community lead.
There were some nagging issues that we started running into though. Speaking from my personal point of view:
* Dealing with errors in the oauth integration and automatically initiating new oauth flows when needed wasn't available leading to all sorts of issues especially in connecting based on stored connections and requiring some ugly hacks
* No support for refresh tokens leading to complexities in the Google oauth library
* Some providers such as Facebook changed their implementations along the way which required updates to the library
Well, more than a year later, I have to say I'm disappointed in the progress. It looked like after the 1.0.x releases, the team didn't get time allocated for this library anymore and the nags weren't addressed in a timely fashion. We now missed the 1.1.0M1 release target and there seem to be a lot of issues outstanding on that one, in particular the ones that cause me the most problems in using Spring Social.
This is open source so we have to rely on the efforts of the team and the community and therefore can't "complain". I do want to voice my concern on this though. The project is not getting the love it needs.
Marc: I feel your frustration. In fact, may I suggest that I'm even more frustrated than you that things have moved slowly with Spring Social over the past year. My time has been split a few ways over the past year (some for good reasons and some for not so good reasons) and I've not given Spring Social the focus it needs.
However, most of those distractions are behind me now. I can't promise that more distractions aren't waiting for me around the corner, but I am now focused on getting Spring Social 1.1.0.M1 out very soon. I had anticipated pushing it on Monday, but held off to give it a bit more polish (and possibly another big feature). My new goal is to push the 1.1.0.M1 release out on Monday November 26th. After that I have a couple of weeks of distraction (one of which is vacation), but then plan to push milestone releases at a more frequent pace up through release candidates and finally a GA release. In short, the project has been slumbering for awhile, but it is very much alive and awaking from that slumber.
But you also make a very valid point: This is open source. Open source is more than just free software. Open source is a social effort. The community should not have to rely on only the efforts of the team, but also the efforts of the community itself. If you see something that could be improved, you are welcome to fork the project, make the necessary changes, and submit the changes as pull requests. Although I don't automatically merge all PRs, I do review them all and consider how I can work them in.
The Spring Social community has done a fantastic job of creating over 2 dozen provider extensions. The contributions to Spring Social Core, however, have been slim. There have been a handful of pull requests submitted for the core and I appreciate everyone who has contributed. But I also would love to see more contributions to the core via pull requests.
Again, this project is very important to me and I am planning to step it up over the next few weeks and months to move it forward. Even if I never receive another pull request from the community, I'll still work toward addressing the needs of the community. But PRs do help move things faster.
Really glad to hear that things are starting to move again.
I can understand why contributions in Spring Social Core have been slim. oauth is just so darn hard!
Having said that, I think exciting options such as the Facebook Jira item "which of my friends is also here" should be quite easy to pick up by me or others in the community. But I also have to be honest. I have been in such a time crunch lately, I have no slack for side projects as useful as they might be to me. Of course, I will make any updates that may be necessary for 1.1 to the JPA plugin I wrote.
Anyway, enjoy your holiday. Should your destination be Amsterdam, I have a cool loft which I can let you use.
Marc: You're right about that one particular JIRA issue. Every time I see one of those like that I want to jump on it right away. But then reality hits me and I realize that I need to focus on the task at hand. (Which, for the past few days, has been tighter integration with Spring Security.)
So yeah, those are simple tasks..easily done. Sometimes I work one of those in when I know I only have a few moments to work on something. But sometimes they just sit around waiting for me or someone else to contribute a PR.
Craig who is on the Spring Social Team? Is that just you?