A question which came up recently a lot was the question about the release plan for Hibernate Validator 4.3. It is time for an answer.
I used to say that Validator 4.3 will align with Bean Validation 1.1, incorporating any changes required for this specification update. Work on BV 1.1 is still in full swing and it is still time to raise your voice for your long missed validation feature. Check out beanvalidation.org for more information.
Back to Hibernate Validator though. Over the last few months we incorporated a bunch of useful changes and bug fixes into the code base. For example all string based ConstraintValidators work now on any subclass of CharSequence (HV-502) and the email validator now supports internationalized domain names (HV-472, Java 6 required). Or check out the new generic MOD11 constraint (HV-491) and its application in the new constraints CNPJ, CPF and TituloEleitoral (used for Brazilian individual taxpayer and voting registration numbers). We also have some performance improvements via HV-550 and HV-515.
As you can see quite a bunch of useful changes which we want to release as soon as possible. We also want to offer these improvements for users who don't want to upgrade to Bean Validation 1.1 right away (some of the expected changes will break backwards compatibility with Hibernate Validator 4.2). For this reason we just released Hibernate Validator 4.3.0.Alpha1 with the plan to move to a final release as fast as possible. Two more issues are worth mentioning though: HV-481 and HV-484. The former is the switch to JBoss Logging and the latter is the start of a package refactoring which will (once completed) introduce a clear separation between API/SPI and internal parts on a package level. This change is in accordance with the changes already introduced by the other Hibernate projects. Have a look at the Hibernate Validator Migration Guide to see what these changes imply.
Hibernate Validator 4.3.0.Alpha1 is available via the JBoss Maven Repository under the GAV org.hibernate:hibernate-validator:4.3.0.Alpha1 or via SourceForge. The changelog is available here. Feedback is welcome via the Validator Forum and the issue tracker.
As a result, Hibernate Validator 5 will become the reference implementation of Bean Validation 1.1.