Question: We are using our simple implementation of Preferences (pre 1.4), but now that we are finally moving to 1.4 we can use the 'standard'. However, we need the pref to come from the database (legacy requirements and cluster issues). Do you by chance know of an extension of Preferences that uses a db backing store? I'd hate to reinvent the wheel. Search on web shows nothing, but it could be under my nose, or is this another one line Spring change?
Regarding conditional spring config files. In another thread, I made a suggestion of making contexts part of a composite pattern, thus they would have an id, and so could be manipulated just like beans. This would allow conditional stuff and more, IMHO: http://forum.springframework.org/showthread.php?t=9891