This feature has been very well welcomed by the developers community, because it clearly makes the Spring XML configuration easier to manage and read, without running into the burden of writing a custom namespace handler.
I strongly suggest you to give it a try.
As a consequence, many people started asking more, and in particular many people I know asked about the possibility of applying the same kind of configuration to collection and map properties.
Too bad, this seems to be impossible, but I'm here for giving my two cents about another (documented) way of configuring collections, that is IMHO easier to read. It uses the P-Namespace and the util schema, here is a sample:
http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-2.0.xsd http://www.springframework.org/schema/util
<bean id="c1" class="org.acme.Content" p:name="c1"/>
<bean id="c2" class="org.acme.Content" p:name="c2"/>
<bean id="c3" class="org.acme.Content" p:name="c3"/>
<bean id="container" class="org.acme.Container" p:name="container" p:contentList-ref="contents"/>
As you can see, you have to simply configure your collection with the util schema (that makes it reusable, too), and then inject it with the P-Namespace!
I hope you'll find it useful!