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From "Alex Karasulu" <>
Subject Re: Question of container history of ApacheDS
Date Sun, 22 Apr 2007 23:37:56 GMT
Hi Stefan,

Well let me break down the history behind our container drama :).  It
started out a while back in the first days of ldapd over at in 2002.
I started using Avalon Phoenix back then and had carved out blocks
(components in Avalon terms) for each of the subsystems. This was course

When ldapd came to Apache and became ApacheDS we started switching from
Phoenix to Merlin which was the "new" container that factions in Avalon were
pushing.   And it looked like Phoenix was going to die and it did sort of
with one last trip out of the fire as Loom at codehaus.  Loom also died I
think.  I was sad to see this happen since Phoenix was a damn good container
for Avalon.  It just worked.  Loom and Phoenix were totally compatible.

With all this flux at Avalon I just abandoned messing around with IoC and
got a bad taste in my mouth over it.  So I tried to write most of the modern
subsystems with simple POJOs while keeping an open eye for some container
to  come along and make my day.

Trustin at some point got sick of using env properties inside the JNDI
provider to describe complex objects and talked me into using Spring just
for configuration.  I was reluctant at first but it fixed some problems for
us.  The env hashtable based approach with key value pairs was just a
hassle.  So this is how Spring came into the picture.  We could have used
other things like commons-configuration but I did not have the time to look
into that at the time.  We do not use Spring for anything other than

I am hoping this OSGi stuff is the silver bullet to fix all of Java's
container wars as the victor.  So we can go back to using a container for
more than just configuration.  Looks btw like the Spring guys got infected
by the OSGi bug so there might be some cross pollination going on between
these efforts.

I am optimistic mostly because of the Spring guys' interest.


On 4/22/07, Stefan Zoerner <> wrote:
> Question on the rationale behind using Spring (especially to the veteran
> developers):
> I know that early versions/predecessors of ApacheDS used other
> frameworks (Avalon?). Which frameworks or lightweight containers were
> used/considered in the progress before Spring? Is there any
> documentation on the architectural decision or rationale to use Spring?
> Thanks in advance,
>      Stefan Zoerner (szoerner)

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