The following has been tested against IntelliJ IDEA 2016.2.2


Within your locally cloned spring-framework working directory:

  1. Precompile spring-oxm with ./gradlew :spring-oxm:compileTestJava
  2. Import into IntelliJ (File -> New -> Project from Existing Sources -> Navigate to directory -> Select build.gradle)
  3. When prompted exclude the spring-aspects module (or after the import via File-> Project Structure -> Modules)
  4. Code away

Known issues

  1. spring-core and spring-oxm should be pre-compiled due to repackaged dependencies. See *RepackJar tasks in the build and https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-160605).
  2. spring-aspects does not compile due to references to aspect types unknown to IntelliJ IDEA. See http://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-64446 for details. In the meantime, the 'spring-aspects' can be excluded from the project to avoid compilation errors.
  3. While JUnit tests pass from the command line with Gradle, some may fail when run from IntelliJ IDEA. Resolving this is a work in progress. If attempting to run all JUnit tests from within IntelliJ IDEA, you will likely need to set the following VM options to avoid out of memory errors: -XX:MaxPermSize=2048m -Xmx2048m -XX:MaxHeapSize=2048m
  4. If you invoke "Rebuild Project" in the IDE, you'll have to generate some test resources of the spring-oxm module again (./gradlew :spring-oxm:compileTestJava)


In any case, please do not check in your own generated .iml, .ipr, or .iws files. You'll notice these files are already intentionally in .gitignore. The same policy goes for eclipse metadata.


Q. What about IntelliJ IDEA's own Gradle support?

A. Keep an eye on http://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-53476

Have something you'd like to contribute to the framework? We welcome pull requests but ask that you carefully read this document first to understand how best to submit them; what kind of changes are likely to be accepted; and what to expect from the Spring team when evaluating your submission.

Please refer back to this document as a checklist before issuing any pull request; this will save time for everyone!

Code of Conduct

This project adheres to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct. By participating, you are expected to uphold this code. Please report unacceptable behavior to spring-code-of-conduct@pivotal.io.

Take Your First Steps

Understand the basics

Not sure what a pull request is, or how to submit one? Take a look at GitHub's excellent help documentation first.

Search Stack Overflow first; discuss if necessary

If you're unsure why something isn't working or wondering if there is a better way of doing it please check on Stack Overflow first and if necessary start a discussion. This is the official list of Spring project tags. In short the issue tracker should be used to report issues and make feature requests.

Search JIRA; create an issue if necessary

Is there already an issue that addresses your concern? Do a bit of searching in our JIRA issue tracker to see if you can find something similar. If you do not find something similar, please create a new JIRA issue before submitting a pull request unless the change is truly trivial -- for example: typo fixes, removing compiler warnings, etc.

Sign the Contributor License Agreement (CLA)

If you have not previously done so, please sign the Contributor License Agreement. If you forget to do so, you'll be reminded when you submit a pull request.

Create a Branch

Branch from master

Master currently represents work toward Spring Framework 5.0. Please submit all pull requests there, even bug fixes and minor improvements. Backports to 4.3.x will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Use short branch names

Branches used when submitting pull requests should preferably be named according to JIRA issues, e.g. 'SPR-1234'. Otherwise, use succinct, lower-case, dash (-) delimited names, such as 'fix-warnings', 'fix-typo', etc. In fork-and-edit cases, the GitHub default 'patch-1' is fine as well. This is important, because branch names show up in the merge commits that result from accepting pull requests and should be as expressive and concise as possible.

Use Spring Framework Code Style

The complete Spring Framework Code Style reference is available on the wiki, but here's a quick summary:

Mind the whitespace

Please carefully follow the whitespace and formatting conventions already present in the framework.

  1. Tabs, not spaces
  2. Unix (LF), not DOS (CRLF) line endings
  3. Eliminate all trailing whitespace
  4. Wrap Javadoc at 90 characters
  5. Aim to wrap code at 90 characters, but favor readability over wrapping
  6. Preserve existing formatting; i.e. do not reformat code for its own sake
  7. Search the codebase using git grep and other tools to discover common naming conventions, etc.
  8. UTF-8 encoding for Java sources

Add Apache license header to all new classes

 * Copyright 2002-2017 the original author or authors.
 * Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
 * you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
 * You may obtain a copy of the License at
 *      http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
 * Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
 * distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
 * See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
 * limitations under the License.

package ...;

Update Apache license header in modified files as necessary

Always check the date range in the license header. For example, if you've modified a file in 2017 whose header still reads:

 * Copyright 2002-2011 the original author or authors.

Then be sure to update it to 2017 accordingly:

 * Copyright 2002-2017 the original author or authors.

Use @since tags for newly-added public API types and methods

For example:

 * ...
 * @author First Last
 * @since 5.0
 * @see ...

Prepare Your Commit

Submit JUnit test cases for all behavior changes

Search the codebase to find related tests and add additional @Test methods as appropriate. It is also acceptable to submit test cases on a per JIRA issue basis, for example:

package org.springframework.beans.factory.support;

 * Unit tests for SPR-8954, in which a custom {@link InstantiationAwareBeanPostProcessor}
 * forces the predicted type of a FactoryBean, effectively preventing retrieval of the
 * bean from calls to #getBeansOfType(FactoryBean.class). The implementation of
 * {@link AbstractBeanFactory#isFactoryBean(String, RootBeanDefinition)} now ensures
 * that not only the predicted bean type is considered, but also the original bean
 * definition's beanClass.
 * @author Chris Beams
public class Spr8954Tests {

    public void cornerSpr8954() {
        // ...

Squash commits

Use git rebase --interactive --autosquashgit add --patch, and other tools to "squash" multiple commits into a single atomic commit. In addition to the man pages for git, there are many resources online to help you understand how these tools work. The Rewriting History section of Pro Git provides a good overview.

Use real name in git commits

Please configure git to use your real first and last name for any commits you intend to submit as pull requests. For example, this is not acceptable:

Author: Nickname <user@mail.com>

Rather, please include your first and last name, properly capitalized, as submitted against the Spring Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA):

Author: First Last <user@mail.com>

This helps ensure traceability against the ICLA and also goes a long way to ensuring useful output from tools like git shortlog and others.

You can configure this via the account admin area in GitHub (useful for fork-and-edit cases); globally on your machine with

git config --global user.name "First Last"
git config --global user.email user@mail.com

or locally for the spring-framework repository only by omitting the '--global' flag:

cd spring-framework
git config user.name "First Last"
git config user.email user@mail.com

Format commit messages

Please read and follow the Commit Guidelines section of Pro Git.

Most importantly, please format your commit messages in the following way (adapted from the commit template in the link above):

Short (50 chars or less) summary of changes

More detailed explanatory text, if necessary. Wrap it to about 72
characters or so. In some contexts, the first line is treated as the
subject of an email and the rest of the text as the body. The blank
line separating the summary from the body is critical (unless you omit
the body entirely); tools like rebase can get confused if you run the
two together.

Further paragraphs come after blank lines.

 - Bullet points are okay, too

 - Typically a hyphen or asterisk is used for the bullet, preceded by a
   single space, with blank lines in between, but conventions vary here

Issue: SPR-1234, SPR-1235
  1. Use imperative statements in the subject line, e.g. "Fix broken Javadoc link".
  2. Begin the subject line with a capitalized verb, e.g. "Add, Prune, Fix, Introduce, Avoid, etc."
  3. Do not end the subject line with a period.
  4. Restrict the subject line to 50 characters or less if possible.
  5. Wrap lines in the body at 72 characters or less.
  6. Mention associated JIRA issue(s) at the end of the commit comment, prefixed with "Issue: " as above.
  7. In the body of the commit message, explain how things worked before this commit, what has changed, and how things work now.

For examples of this style, issue a git log --author=cbeams in the spring-framework git repository. For convenience, here are several such commits:

Run the Final Checklist

Run all tests prior to submission

See the building from source section of the README for instructions. Make sure that all tests pass prior to submitting your pull request.

Submit your pull request

Subject line:

Follow the same conventions for pull request subject lines as mentioned above for commit message subject lines.

In the body:

  1. Explain your use case. What led you to submit this change? Why were existing mechanisms in the framework insufficient? Make a case that this is a general-purpose problem and that yours is a general-purpose solution, etc.
  2. Add any additional information and ask questions; start a conversation or continue one from JIRA.
  3. Mention the JIRA issue ID.
  4. Also mention that you have submitted the ICLA as described above.

Note that for pull requests containing a single commit, GitHub will default the subject line and body of the pull request to match the subject line and body of the commit message. This is fine, but please also include the items above in the body of the request.

Mention your pull request on the associated JIRA issue

Add a comment to the associated JIRA issue(s) linking to your new pull request.

Expect discussion and rework

The Spring team takes a very conservative approach to accepting contributions to the framework. This is to keep code quality and stability as high as possible, and to keep complexity at a minimum. Your changes, if accepted, may be heavily modified prior to merging. You will retain "Author:" attribution for your Git commits granted that the bulk of your changes remain intact. You may be asked to rework the submission for style (as explained above) and/or substance. Again, we strongly recommend discussing any serious submissions with the Spring Framework team prior to engaging in serious development work.

Note that you can always force push (git push -f) reworked / rebased commits against the branch used to submit your pull request. In other words, you do not need to issue a new pull request when asked to make changes.

How to contribute to the reference

The Spring Framework reference now uses asciidoctor. This document describes how to contribute documentation updates.

Building with Gradle

You can build the documentation using gradle using the reference task. For example, from the project root execute the following command:

./gradlew reference

the output will be available at spring-framework/build/reference/htmlsingle/index.html

Live editing

One of the nice features about using asciidoctor is the support for live editing.

You will find a Guardfile already present at spring-framework/src/asciidoc/Guardfile. Make sure first to follow the setup instructions within the Editing AsciiDoc with Live Preview document. Once you have done that, there are additional gems to install to make it work (assuming that you are using LiveReload):

gem install guard-rspec guard-livereload

When running guard start within the src/asciidoc/ folder, any changes to the src/asciidoc/index.adoc file will automatically be written at src/asciidoc/build/index.html.


  • If you are using LiveReload, make sure to select Allow access to file URLs in the LiveEdit plugin options of your browser.
  • The icon used to enable LiveReload can be a bit confusing. The dot is empty when it is disabled and full when the plugin is active. Make sure to enable it on the tab displaying the index.html file.
  • Ensure you are not running guard start at all as two instances could not run at the same time. To exit a current session in a clean way, just type e in the shell.

Documentation notes

Some notes on documentation