Autowired, Resource, Inject

In chapter three, Introducing IoC and DI in Spring, of Pro Spring 5, I have read the example about Using Setter Injection in the annotation flavor, where for the "renderer" service the Autowired annotation was used in its setter to inject the "provider" bean in its parameter.
A note hints that other annotations, Resource and Inject, could be used, but no example is provided. I thought it was better to practice a bit on them too.


The provided example is actually what we usually see in Spring code:
public void setMessageProvider(MessageProvider provider) {
    this.messageProvider = provider;
We should only be aware that Autowired is pure Spring, as its full name documents.


We could get the same result using the JSR standard annotation Inject:
public void setMessageProvider(MessageProvider provider) {
    this.messageProvider = provider;
I had to change the provided build.gradle file for chapter three, setter-injection project, since it didn't have the compile dependency for injection, named misc.inject and defined in the main build.gradle file as
inject         : "javax.inject:javax.inject:1"
Autowired and Qualifier

Say that we have more than one Component implementing the MessageProvider interface. The default one is name "provider", and so it is chosen by Spring in the above examples. But what if I want to inject a different one, for instance "pro2":
class MessageProvider2 implements MessageProvider {

    public String getMessage() {
        return "Hello from Message Provider 2!";
The Spring commonly used approach is using the Qualifier annotation.
public void setMessageProvider(MessageProvider provider) {
    this.messageProvider = provider;
Both Autowired and Qualifier are Spring specific annotations.


A JSR standard alternative to the couple Autowired + Qualifier is given by the Resource annotation.
@Resource(name = "pro3")
public void setMessageProvider(MessageProvider provider) {
    this.messageProvider = provider;
Here above, the Component named "pro3" is going to be injected in provider.

Inject and Named

Another JSR standard alternative to Autowired + Qualifier is provided by the couple Inject + Named.
public void setMessageProvider(MessageProvider provider) {
    this.messageProvider = provider;
I have pushed to GitHub my changes. You could see there the build.gradle file, my new Components, and the alternative setters.

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HackerRank Array Manipulation

We have an array of integers of a given size, that could be in the order of tenth of millions. It is initialized with all zero elements.
We change it a few times, up to tenth of thousands, adding to given subintervals each time a positive number.
At the end, we want to know which is the highest values stored in the array.

This is a Data Structures HackerRank problem. Here below I show you a naive solution, and a smarter one, both of them using Python as implementation language.

An example

First thing, I wrote a test following the provided example. As a welcomed side effect, it helps me to clarify the problem to myself.
Given an array sized 5, let modify it three times, adding 100 to the first and second element, then 100 to the elements from the second up to the fifth, then again 100 to the third and fourth.

The array should go through these states:
  0   0   0   0   0
100 100   0   0   0
100 200 100 100 100
100 200 200 200 100
At the end, 200 should be the highest value in it.

My test code is:
def test_provided_naive_0(self):
    manipulator = NaiveManipulator(5)
    manipulator.set(1, 2, 100)
    manipulator.set(2, 5, 100)
    manipulator.set(3, 4, 100)
    self.assertEqual(200, manipulator.solution())
As I'm sure you have guessed, I have implemented my naive solution as a class, NaiveManipulator, that is initialized passing the size of the underlying array, and that has a couple of methods, set() to perform a transformation, and solution() to get the requested value at the end.

Let's see its code.
class NaiveManipulator:
    def __init__(self, sz): = [0] * sz  # 1
    def set(self, first, last, value):
        for i in range(first-1, last):  # 2
  [i] += value  # 3

    def solution(self):
        return max(
1. The array, initialized with the passed size and with all zero elements, is kept in the member named "data".
2. The indices are given as 1-based, so I convert them in 0-based before using them.
3. Each element in the specified interval is increased by the passed value.
4. Just a call to the built-in function max()

This implementation is really naive. It works fine, but only for limited input data.

A more challenging example

What happens if I have thousands of transformations on a moderately large array, where the subinterval sizes are in the order of the array size?

Let's write a test to see it.
def test_naive(self):
    manipulator = NaiveManipulator(1_000)
    for _ in range(2_000):
        manipulator.set(10, 800, 1)
    self.assertEqual(2_000, manipulator.solution())
It works fine. However, we start seeing how it is getting time consuming. The fact is that in test_naive() we have a for-loop, inside it we call the manipulator set() where there is another for-loop. This algorithm has a O(N*M) time complexity, where N is the number of transformations and M the (average) size of the subintervals. It is enough to have both N and M in the order of thousands to get puny performances by this algorithm.

Be lazy to be faster

Do we really need to increase all the values in the subinterval each time? Why don't we just set where all the increases would start and end, and then perform the increase just once? That could save as a lot of time.

I have refactored my NaiveManipulator to a smarter ArrayManipulator, keeping the same interface, so to nullify the impact on the user code.
class ArrayManipulator:
    def __init__(self, sz): = [0] * (sz + 2)  # 1
    def set(self, first, last, value):  # 2[first] += value[last+1] -= value

    def solution(self):  # 3
        return max(itertools.accumulate(
1. The data array is going to change its meaning. It is not storing the actual value for each element, but the difference between the previous element and the current one. This explains why I need to increase its size by two, since I add a couple of sentinel elements, one at the begin, the other at the end.
2. Instead of changing all the elements in the subinterval, now I change just the first, to signal an increment sized "value", and the one after the last one, to signal that we are getting back to the original value.
3. Large part of the job is now done here. I call accumulate() from the standard itertools library to convert the values stored in the data array to the actual value, then I pass its result to max(), to select its biggest value.

On my machine, this algorithm is about 200 times faster that the previous one on test_naive. Enough to pass the HackerRank scrutiny.

Full python code and test case pushed to GitHub.

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How to close a Spring ApplicationContext

I've just finished reading chapter 2 Getting Started of Pro Spring 5. Nice and smooth introduction to Spring, and to Dependency Injection motivation.

Going through the provided examples, I had just a minor on the code provided. In a couple of cases, the created Spring contexts is stored in plain ApplicationContexts reference. This is normally considered a good way of writing code. We don't want to bring around a fat interface when a slimmer one would be enough. Anyway, ApplicationContext has no close() method declared, leading to an annoying warning "Resource leak: 'ctx' is never closed".

Here is one place where you could see the issue, in class HelloWorldSpringDI:
ApplicationContext ctx =
    new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("spring/app-context.xml");

MessageRenderer mr = ctx.getBean("renderer", MessageRenderer.class);
An obvious solution would be explicitly cast ctx to ClassPathXmlApplicationContext, and call close() on it. However, we could do better than that. The Spring application contexts close()'s come from the interface Closeable. This means that we could refactor our code wrapping the ApplicationContext usage in a try-with-resource block. We let Java taking care of calling close() when the context goes out of scope.

The resulting code is something like that:
try (ClassPathXmlApplicationContext ctx =
        new ClassPathXmlApplicationContext("spring/app-context.xml")) {
    MessageRenderer mr = ctx.getBean("renderer", MessageRenderer.class);
I pushed on GitHub my patched code for both HelloWorldSpringDI and HelloWorldSpringAnnotated, that is, the other class suffering for the same lack of application context closing.

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The Gradle nature of Pro Spring 5

I've started reading Pro Spring 5: An In-Depth Guide to the Spring Framework and Its Tools. It looks fun and interesting. The first issue I had was on having its code from GitHub working in my STS IDE. Here are a few notes on what I did to solve it, if someone else stumble in the same place.

First step was easy. After navigating through the File menu in this way ...
            Project from Git
                    Clone URI
I entered the repository address:

Second step should have been even easier. Add Gradle Nature to the project. It's just a matter of right-clicking on the project, and from the menu select
    Add Gradle Nature
Unfortunately, there are a few version numbers in the main "build.gradle" file for the project that are not currently working, leading to a number of annoying exceptions like:
A problem occurred evaluating project ':chapter02:hello-world'.
Could not resolve all files for configuration ':chapter02:hello-world:compile'.
Could not resolve org.springframework:spring-context:5.0.4.BUILD-SNAPSHOT.
Required by:
    project :chapter02:hello-world
Could not resolve org.springframework:spring-context:5.0.4.BUILD-SNAPSHOT.
Could not get resource ...
Could not HEAD ...
Read timed out
org.gradle.tooling.BuildException: Could not run build action ...
I tried to minimize the impact of my changes on the original configuration file.

Basically, when I had an issue, I moved to a newer version, preferring a stable RELEASE to BUILD-SNAPSHOT's or release candidates.

I also had a problem for
That I moved to
More complicated was the problem for chapter five. It looks that I have something wrong for aspectJ in my configuration. I didn't to spend too much time on that now, assuming that it would lead to to some detail in that specific area. So I opened the aspectj-aspects gradle build file and commented the dependency to gradle-aspectj and the plugin application for aspectj itself.

Now my build.gradle for chapter five - aspectj-aspects has these lines in:

    dependencies {
//      classpath "nl.eveoh:gradle-aspectj:2.0"
// apply plugin: 'aspectj'
Sure enough, it won't compile. Still, I finally added the gradle nature to the project and I can go on reading the book. I'll take care of that issue when I'll reach chapter five.

I've forked the original APress repository, and there I pushed my variants for the main build.gradle file, and the one for chapter 5, aspectj-aspects. See there for details.

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