Blackberry: Code signing for Tablet and Smartphone

As all experienced Blackberry developers will know, to use the restricted BB APIs, you will have to code sign your application. The registration process used to be 20 bucks. Now it is free though. Actually what is the point of code signing, that too when it is free? Maybe there is a real valid reason… Anyways, that is another story, for another day…

Coming back to topic; I went to the now familiar BB developer site to get the code signing keys one more time. This time I was greeted with a new combo box that asked me if i wanted the keys for the Tablet OS or the Smartphone OS or both. I gladly selected both although I didn’t know if the keys were going to be the same or different. I don’t do Tab development as of now. So, I am not familiar with the Dev environment for that.

After a few hours (although they generally say 2 or 3 days), I received 3 emails with the code signing keys. All the 3 emails talked about Tablet OS and not about the Smartphone at all. I didn’t know if I should install the received keys assuming that they are the same for both the OS or wait and see if I get the Smartphone keys separately. I crossed my fingers and decided to wait for a few more hours. Fortunately, I received another set of 3 emails with keys for the Smartphone as well. I installed it and all is well again.

It would have been nice if the BB developer site clearly mentioned that I will be receiving two sets of keys. It may look obvious now and I may even sound silly, but it would have definitely saved me a few hours of anxiety at that time.

Install Blackberry SDK 6.0 to your existing Eclipse Helios

Blackberry provides a “Java plugin for Eclipse” that can be downloaded and used for eclipse-based blackberry development. But beware, what you download is not an eclipse plugin. Instead, it is a full eclipse download with the plugins pre-installed. I didn’t want a new copy of eclipse just for Blackberry development. I wanted to use my already well configured Helios installation to be used for Blackberry development as well. So, i chose to use the provided update site – – to install the plugin to my existing Helios installation.

The issue is that, I was unable to install the plugin using the aforementioned update site and noticed that others faced the same problem too. After a lot of failed attempts, I finally discovered a different way to solve the problem. I downloaded the full “Java Plugin for Eclipse” from the Blackberry download site and just copied all the net.rim.* files from the plugins and features directory to my Helios installation.

Worked for me and I am a happy camper!

GWT – Pros and Cons

I love JavaScript. With the advent of jQuery and Mootools, my love for JavaScript has only increased plenty-fold. Given a choice I would use either of the aforementioned frameworks for any web application I develop. But being in the service industry, time and again I have to succumb to the client’s pressure and work in their choice of technology – whether or not it is the right one (The one who pays the piper calls the tune. Isn’t it?). One such client exposed me to the world of GWT.

I have given GWT a shot couple of years back on the day it was released. I didn’t like it that much then, so I dismissed it and never returned back. But, over the past six months working on this project I have a slightly different impression on this framework. I still cannot say that GWT is the next big thing since sliced bread, but at least it is not as bad as I thought it was. I have just documented my observations, both good and bad during the course of this project and thought some fellow developer might find it useful while evaluating GWT.


  1. If you are a Java veteran with experience in Swing or AWT, then choosing GWT should be a no-brainer. The learning curve is the least with this background.
  2. Even if you are not experienced in Java GUI development, the experience in working on server-side Java for years will come in handy while developing GWT apps
  3. You can create highly responsive web applications with heavy lifting on the client-side and reduced chattiness with the server-side
  4. Although there are numerous JavaScript libraries out in the wild and most of them are worth their salt, many conventional developers don’t understand its true power. Remember, a powerful language like JavaScript is a double-edged sword. If you don’t know how to use it, even you won’t be able to clean the mess you create
  5. You can migrate from a typical web application to a GWT application iteratively. It is not an all or nothing proposition. You can use a clever trick called JSNI to interact with loads of JavaScript functions you already possess. But it is always better to move them to GWT sooner rather than later
  6. The IDE support for GWT cannot be better. Java IDEs have matured over the past decade to be one of the best in the world and GWT can take direct advantage of it
  7. The integrated debugging beauty is something you can kill for. The excellent debugging support offered by the mature Java IDEs is one feature that could sway anybody’s decision in favor of GWT
  8. The built-in IDE support to refactor Java code can directly be put to good use to maintain a simple design at all times. Doing this in JavaScript is not for the faint at heart
  9. The IDE syntax highlighting, error checking, code completion shortcuts etc are overwhelming – to say the least
  10. GWT is being actively developed by Google. We know that the project is not going to die off anytime soon. Until now their commitment towards the project says a lot about its future in the industry.
  11. The community behind the project is also a big PLUS. Discussions take place daily in Stack overflow, discussion forums, wikis and personal blogs. A simple search with the right keyword could point you in the right direction
  12. GWT is a well thought-out API; not something that was put together in a hurry. This helps you as a developer to quickly comprehend the abstractions and makes it really intuitive to use
  13. You can use GWT’s built-in protocol to transfer data between the client and the server without any additional knowledge of how the data is packaged and sent. If you prefer more control, you can always use XML, JSON or another proprietary format of your choice. Even in that case, while using JSON, you don’t have to use an non-intuitive java JSON library. You can use JSNI to ‘eval’ the JSON using straight javascript. Cool huh!
  14. You have the advantage of being able to use standard Java static code analyzers like FindBugs, CheckStyle, Detangler, PMD etc to monitor code and design quality. This is very important when you are working in a big team with varying experience.
  15. You can use JUnit or Test NG for unit testing and JMock or another mock library for mocking dependencies. Following TDD is straight-forward if you already practice it. Although there are JavaScript based unit testing frameworks like jsunit and qunit, come on tell me how many people already know that or are itching to use that.
  16. The GWT compiler generates cross-browser JavaScript code. Today, any marketing person who says this will probably be beaten. It has now become a basic necessity, not a luxury
  17. The GWT compiler optimizes the generated code, removes dead code and even obfuscates the JavaScript for you all in one shot
  18. Although the compilation process takes hell a lot of time, you don’t have to go through that during development. There is a special hosted mode that uses a browser plug-in and direct java byte-code to produce output. That is one of the main reasons you are able to use a Java debugger to debug client side code.
  19. Rich third-party controls are available through quite a few projects like Smart GWT, Ext GWT etc. They are well designed, easy to use and theme-able. So, if you have a requirement where existing controls don’t just cut it, you should be looking into one of these projects. There is a really fat chance that one of those components will work out. Even if that doesn’t work out, you can always roll out your own.
  20. GWT emphasizes the concept of a stateful client and a stateless server. This results in extremely less load on the server where many users have to co-exist and high load on the client where only one user is working
  21. I18N and L10N are pretty straight-forward with GWT. In fact locale based compilation is taken care by the GWT compiler itself. The same cannot be said about regular client-only frameworks
  22. GWT comes built-in with browser back button support even while using AJAX. If you are an AJAX developer, I can almost feel your relief. This is priceless.


  1. GWT is a fast developing project. So, there are a lot of versions floating around. Many functions, interfaces and events get deprecated and keeping up with their pace is not too much fun when you have other work to do
  2. There were quite a few GWT books during the beginning. Not so much these days. For example, I haven’t found many books on the 2.0 version of GWT. This leaves us only with Google’s documentation. I agree that the documentation is good and all, but nothing can beat a well written book
  3. GWT is not fun to work with. After all it is Java and Java is not a fun language to work with. If you add the fact that entire layouts and custom controls should be created in java, you can easily make a grown programmer cry. With the introduction of UI binder starting version 2.0, that problem is kind of solved, but now you have a new syntax to learn.
  4. The Java to JavaScript compilation is fairly slow, which is a significant con if you choose GWT.
  5. I personally prefer defining structure in HTML and styling it using CSS. The concepts used in HTML are clean and straight-forward and I have years of experience doing just that. But in GWT, I am kind of forced to use proprietary methods to do the same. That combined with the fact that GWT doesn’t solve the styling and alignment incompatibilies for me compounds the problem. So, writing layout code in GWT is something I despice. But with UI Binder and HTMLLayout from version 2.0 onwards, I feel I am back in my own territory
  6. It requires some serious commitment levels to get into GWT, coz, after that, a change in client side technology could require a complete rewrite of your app, as it is a radically different approach than other client side frameworks
  7. There is not a defined way to approach an application development using GWT. Should we use only module per app or one module per page or somewhere in between. These design patterns are slowly evolving only now. So, typically people tend to develop all in one module until the module size goes beyond being acceptable and then they refactor it into multiple modules. But if it is too late, then refactoring could not be that easy either
  8. Mixing presentation and code doesn’t sound right although typical desktop GUI applications does just that. But these days, even desktop application frameworks like Flex and Silverlight have taken an XML based declarative approach to separate presentation from logic. I think GWT 1.x version had this disadvantage. With the introduction of UI Binder starting from version 2.0, I think this disadvantage can be written off although it is yet another painful XML language to learn
  9. You would often be punching in 3X to 5X more code than you would with other client libraries – like jQuery – to get simple things done
  10. You should also remember that with GWT, the abstraction away from HTML isn’t complete. You’ll still need to understand the DOM structure your app is generating in order to style it, and GWT can make it harder to see this structure in the code.
  11. GWT is an advantage only for Java developers. Developers with .NET or PHP background won’t gain anything here
  12. If you have tasted the power of JavaScript and know how to properly utilize it to your advantage, then you will feel crippled with an unexpressive language like Java

I am sure many of you will have differences of opinion. Difference is good. So, if you think otherwise, feel free to leave a comment. We’ll discuss…

GWT – Not enough methods, expecting 3 saw 2

In my current project we use GWT extensively. I also develop prototypes and POCs for clients using GWT when I am in presales mode. During one such prototype, when I was using GWT RPC to perform an AJAX call from the client to the server, I hit a road block. GWT was throwing me an error I couldn’t comprehend.

java.lang.AssertionError: Not enough methods, expecting 3 saw 2

After a bit of fiddling and googling around, I realized that this was happening because I recently upgraded from version 2.0.3 to version 2.2. I guess the protocol GWT uses to serialize the data to be transported between the client and the server has changed between these two versions. Fair enough. But I don’t understand why I received that error although I created this project after upgrading to version 2.2.

Anyways, I found out that for some odd reason the gwt-servlet.jar that was stuck to my lib folder was the older 2.0.3 version. When I replaced it with the 2.2 version of the jar file the problem got fixed. FYI, the 2.0.3 version of the jar is around 1.5 MB whereas the 2.2 version of the jar is around 4.5 MB.

Meanwhile, I am working on a list of pros and cons for using GWT. Will be posting that soon…

Ceylon – Yet Another JVM Language (YAJL)

It is all too familiar, yet surprising; it is all too common, yet shocking; to see yet another JVM language created to scratch an itch that countless other languages are already trying to solve.

Of course Java is not expressive enough, it doesn’t have higher order functions, it doesn’t have modularity as a language feature, it doesn’t have clean way to do meta-programming, it does NOT have so many more features we love and does have so many more features we hate. These are most of what has frustrated Gavin King (the creator of Hibernate) as well and made him think about creating a new language – Ceylon. A few days ago, in his presentation at the QCon Beijing 2011 he gave a first glimpse of the language features and a few code snippets showing its beauty.

A lot of people have raised concerns and expressed strong opinions questioning a need for yet another language. Scala fans, the Groovy(++) camp, Gosu and Fantom hackers all think that Ceylon does not solve anything that is not solved already or could have been solved by just contributing to one of these modern languages. So, I am not going to be yet another anti Ceylon person but I am not a fan either.

I believe Ceylon is more of a strategic approach from RedHat than a language created out of true necessity. They would like to control a language and its followers like most other giant companies do today. Think about it. Oracle is controlling Java, Microsoft is controlling C# (VB, VC++, etc), Google is controlling Go (and Python?), Apple is controlling Objective C and VMWare is controlling Groovy. RedHat has just joined the party leaving only IBM out of the equation. I am sure they are not far behind. I just sincerely hope that they adopt an existing language (Scala?) instead of creating yet another one.

That said, the language itself looks cool, is very expressive and adds a lot of syntactic sweetness to say the least. I just wanted to highlight a few of them here…

String Interpolation:
In Java we use a “+” sign for string concatenation. There is no concept of string interpolation in either Java or Scala. In Groovy ${} construct is used while Ruby uses #{}. Ceylon’s syntax looks better than either of them though. It uses a “space” as the string interpolation operator and the result looks a lot cleaner. Don’t you think?

String name;
writeLine("Hello " name "!");

In Java we use getXxx() methods to get a property value. This looks like a method and quacks like a method and does not give the feeling of accessing a property at all. In Ceylon, a very simple innovation has resulted in much more succinct getter methods. They have decided to get rid of paranthesis to both define and call getter methods. Look at the last line of the following snippet. Does it look like a method call? NO. Does it look like accessing a property? Of course it does !!!

class Counter() {
   variable Natural count := 0;
   shared Natural currentCount {
      return count;
Counter c = new Counter();

In Ceylon there is no separate constructor. The class definition itself acts as a constructor as shown below. Since, there is no concept of method or operator overloading in Ceylon there is no necessity to have a separate method and this syntax induces a “Why didn’t I think of this before ?” moment… The necessity for an overloaded method is handled by optional /defaulted parameters concept. So, you don’t have to worry too much about it…

class Customer (String cName, Natural cAge, Date cDob) {
   variable String name :=  cName;

With the support of named parameters and higher-order functions and quite a bit of thought, a syntactic structure as expressive as given below has been achieved in a general purpose and statically typed language like Ceylon.

Html hello {
   Head head { title = "Squares"; }
   Body body {
      Div {
         cssClass = "greeting";
         "Hello" name "!";

And then there is the rest of the now so common features like array like access to Sequences (equivalent of List in Java), higher-order functions, Closures, Currying, etc

It is not like I loved every single feature of Ceylon. I hated a few, but I am reserving that rant for another post…

Intellij IDEA key map for Eclipse

Eclipse and IDEA logo

It is not the least easy to switch to Eclipse after years of addiction to Intellij IDEA. IDEA is the best IDE I have worked with until now and will continue to remain that way until there is another visionary who attempts to improve the developer pleasure instead of just technical modularity. Eclipse may (or may not) have a better architecture, better design, better modularity, incomparable number of plug-ins and better written code than IDEA, but that doesn’t seem to attract the end developers like me.

I just love IDEA for the way it understands me, knows what I am trying to do at any moment and most importantly for the complete integrated development experience it gives. That doesn’t mean that Eclipse is not famous. Eclipse is very famous and many people love it too. But I think it is because it is free and more so because every other software vendor creates plug-ins for eclipse and that level of community support is not there for Netbeans or IDEA.

Anyways, recently when I had to switch to Eclipse for a few months for one particular development project, I was not a happy camper. I wanted to bring at least some level of IDEA like familiarity into Eclipse and with a happy accident I was able to get to the IDEA key scheme for Eclipse. I sincerely thank Santhosh for having created an Eclipse plug-in for that. It works as advertisied except for a very few gotchas.

To create an IDEA key scheme for your Eclipse Helios installation, download the plug-in from here. Drop the downloaded jar file into $ECLIPSE_HOME\plugins folder and restart Eclipse. Then goto Window -> Preferences -> General -> Keys and modify the scheme drop-down to change it from “Default” to “Intellij IDEA”. Click Apply and OK and you are done. Every key combination like Ctrl+N, Ctrl+Shift+N, Alt+F7, Shift+F6, Ctrl+F12, Ctrl+Shift+-, etc should work as expected.

It did not give me THE COMPLETE IDEA experience but I guess this is the best I could get for now. If anyone has any suggestions for a better IDEA experience please do share them in the comments section. I most definitely will be grateful.

Tomcat 5.5 and above doesn’t need the JDK

Most of us who install Tomcat on our development machines wouldn’t have noticed that Tomcat versions before 5.5 required the full blown Java Development Kit (JDK) to be installed on the machine. Just installing the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) wasn’t enough. The JDK is meant for developers to be able to compile Java programs, and has the development tools such as the compiler, debugger and other development libraries. Tomcat versions prior to 5.5 used the Java compiler that comes with the JDK to compile JSP pages at runtime and consequently required a full blown JDK.

Tomcat versions 5.5 and above have a Java compiler (the Eclipse JDT Java compiler) packaged along with it. Now, this is used to compile the JSP pages dynamically instead of the JDK compiler. Hence, it is enough if we just install JRE starting from Tomcat version 5.5 and above.

Hibernate never stops surprising me

I have a simple form in my web application where a user can fill in his personal details and address details. User specific fields include firstName, middleName and lastName while Address specific fields include street, city and zip. On the server side, I have POJOs for User and Address. Finally I use Hibernate to map these POJOs to the database. Since, the Address will not be used outside the context of the User, I decided to map it as a Component of the User class.

The User class and its corresponding mapping is given below:

@Entity @Table(name = "user")
public class User {

     @Column(name = "first_name")
     private String firstName;
     @Column(name = "middle_name")
     private String middleName;
     @Column(name = "last_name")
     private String lastName;
     private Address homeAddress;

     ... Getters and Setters

The Address class is mapped to User as a component. You can see the specifics of the mapping below.

public class Address {
     @Column(name = "address_street")
     private String street;
     @Column(name = "address_city")
     private String city;
     @Column(name = "address_state")
     private String state;

     ... Getters and Setters

As you may already know, mapping components using hibernate is a very useful feature. This feature and support for nested components and components referring to other entities are the primary source of support for rich and fine grained domain model in hibernate. But while i was using Component mapping, I recently stepped on an interesting Feature (or it could be an Issue) and I was happily surprised by it.

Want to know the surprise? Keep reading…

In this case you map an Address as a value type using @Embedded annotation in the “homeAddress” field of the User class. The Address class itself is declared to be @Emeddable. This is the standard Hibernate/JPA way to map value types. The Address class has street, city and zip and it gets stored into the same table as the User class’s table. Now, when you insert an instance of User into the database, while specifying all null values for Address‘s fields maybe because the user didn’t give his address, then what would you expect in return at some point in time when you retrieve this User back from the database.

I for one expected user.getAddress() will return an Address instance. Then address.getStreet() will return null. But that is not what happened. user.getAddress() returned null by itself. That was interesting and even helped me in my case because, if the user hasn’t given any details for his home address, then it probably means that his address itself is not there in the system. So, returning null for getAddress() is semantically the right thing to do. I was surprised and when i checked the hibernate documentation it was even mentioned there that if all properties of a component are null, then the component itself is considered null.

In another situation this could have been bad, I don’t know, but for my purpose I was happily surprised with this nice touch from hibernate. These kind of small things is what differentiates a great product from a good product. Ain’t it?

Final Modifier for method arguments. What do you think?

The IT industry today is sodden with TLAs like SOA, ESB… and FLAs like AJAX, SOAP and JUNK. i was thinking about refreshing myself with some fundamentals again. Blogging about a basic concept may not be cool, but refreshing – don’t you think? I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that i am digressing too much. Ok, lets cut to the chase.

One of the best practices i follow religiously is to use final modifiers for method arguments where applicable. This is “supposedly” a best-practice written by somebody somewhere. Regardless of whether it is documented as a best-practice or not it is an important concept to understand and use. I have 2 valid reasons to use them for my method arguments.

First, final variables cannot be modified. Come on, everybody knows that. Maybe, but its use is significantly enhanced when it is a method argument and more importantly when you are in a big team environment.

Lets assume that a method takes List as its argument. Typically, the intention of that method is to work with the List – add to it, remove elements from it, use its elements in some way, sort it and what not. Consequently when the method returns, the caller can investigate the passed List and work with the modifications the callee introduced. But the caller will be on for a big surprise if the callee changes the instance that reference points to itself.

We know that java uses “Pass by copy of reference”. If the callee points the received reference to a different List and then modifies this List, the caller will not be able to see any change at all. This is because the copy of the reference held by the caller still points to the same old List. More often than not this is done by mistake and is not intentional. If such a behavior is intentional, final modifier is not required. In all other cases since this leads to bugs in code, it is a good practice to use final modifier for method arguments.

Second, if the method uses the infamous anonymous inner-class syntax to do something, and that inner class wants to use the methods arguments, java requires those arguments to be declared final. This is more of a rule than a valid reason.

Are there more valid reasons? I will be glad to receive information from you guys.

Hibernate: Why should I Force Discriminator?

Hibernate is an ambitious project that aims to be a complete solution to the problem of managing persistent data in java. Even with such an arduous task before them, the hibernate team tries very hard to expose a simple API for developers like us. Still, the complexity behind the API shows its ugly face time and again and I believe it is unavoidable as long as the mismatch between Object and Relational world exists.

That said, although I have worked with hibernate for many years and have been its advocate in all my organizations, I keep facing newer issues and keep finding newer ways to work with it efficiently and effectively. Recently, when I was working for, I faced an issue when mapping a OneToMany relationship to the sub-classes of “Single Table Inheritance” strategy. After a frustrating couple of hours of debugging I finally landed on the correct solution. So, I thought other developers who will travel this path could get benefited and started writing this blog post.

Let me explain the issue I faced with an example. Assume you have a normal User Entity with the typical id, version and loginId properties. Assume this User can have many AboutUs sections and many Service sections. You don’t need to be an architect to model them as OneToMany relationships from User. So, I modelled UserAboutSection and UserServiceSection entities and created a OneToMany relationship between User and these entities. Looking at the commonality between these two, I decided to factor out the common fields into a superclass called UserSection. Now, both UserAboutSection and UserServiceSection extends UserSection. I chose to map this Inheritance hierarchy using “Single Table Inheritance” strategy to keep it simple and since most of the fields were common and only a few were specific.

The User entity is given below. Notice the List<UserAboutSection> and a List<UserServiceSection> mapped using OneToMany relationship.

The getters, setters, adders, imports and static imports are omitted for brevity.

@Entity @Table(name = "user")
public class User extends BaseEntity {

    @Column(name = "login_id")
    private String loginId;

    @Column(name = "password")
    private String password;


    @OneToMany(cascade = {CascadeType.ALL})
    @JoinColumn(name = "user_id", nullable = false)
    @IndexColumn(name = "user_section_position")
    List<UserAboutSection> aboutUs;

    @OneToMany(cascade = {CascadeType.ALL})
    @JoinColumn(name = "user_id", nullable = false)
    @IndexColumn(name = "user_section_position")
    List<UserServiceSection> services;

    ... Getters, Setters and Adders

Here goes the UserSection entity that acts as the base class in this “Single Table Inheritance” strategy. Hibernate uses the @DiscriminatorColumn annotation to distinguish between sub-classes.

@Entity @Table(name = "user_section")
@Inheritance(strategy= InheritanceType.SINGLE_TABLE)
@DiscriminatorColumn(name="user_section_type", discriminatorType = STRING) 
public class UserSection extends BaseEntity {
    @Column(name = "title")         
    protected String title;

    @Column(name = "description")   
    protected String description;

    ... Getters and Setters

Here goes the UserAboutSection entity that derives from the UserSection entity. Hibernate uses the @DiscriminatorValue annotation to decide if a row in the database belongs to an instance of this class.

@Entity @DiscriminatorValue("ABOUT")
public class UserAboutSection extends UserSection {
    protected User user;

    ... Other Properties specific to UserAboutSection

Here goes the UserServiceSection entity that derives from the UserSection entity. Hibernate uses the @DiscriminatorValue annotation to decide if a row in the database belongs to an instance of this class.

@Entity @DiscriminatorValue("SERVICE")
public class UserServiceSection extends UserSection {
    protected User user;

    ... Other Properties specific to UserServiceSection

Pretty straightforward… huh! When you try to retrieve an instance of User along with its aboutUs and services collections eagerly (or lazily – doesn’t matter), what do you expect?

I expected an instance of User with the aboutUs collection filled with only UserAboutSection instances and the services collection filled with only UserServiceSection instances corresponding to only the rows they represent in the database. And I believe this expectation is valid, because that is what the mapping looks like and hibernate also has all the information it needs to make this work.

But I got something different. Both the aboutUs and services collections had all the UserSection rows that belong to this User. I mean, aboutUs collection had all the UserSection instances including UserAboutSection and UserServiceSection instances. This was surprising because hibernate has all the information it needs to populate the right instances.

After quite a bit of debugging, googling and RTFM-ing I landed upon @ForceDiscriminator annotation. This annotation has to be applied to the base class in the Inheritance hierarchy for “Single Table Inheritance” strategy. In my case, I had to apply it to UserSection entity. The UserSection entity after applying this annotation is given below…

@Entity @Table(name = "user_section")
@Inheritance(strategy= InheritanceType.SINGLE_TABLE)
@DiscriminatorColumn(name="user_section_type", discriminatorType = STRING) 
public class UserSection extends BaseEntity {
    @Column(name = "title")         
    protected String title;

    @Column(name = "description")   
    protected String description;

    ... Getters and Setters

Once I ask hibernate to Force Discriminiator, it is happy and populates the aboutUs and services collections with its respective instances.

Ok, Problem Solved! But why did I have to tell hibernate to Force Discriminator. Shouldn’t that be the default behaviour. Is it a bug in hibernate or is it a feature? Am I missing something? If any one of you hibernate fans have walked this path and know the answer, please feel free to drop in a comment. I sincerely hope this post will be a valuable time-saver for other hibernate developers who step on this Bug/Feature.