Page Navigation in JavaServer Faces
Subject:   Have these people heard about this "new" thing called "Struts"???
Date:   2003-10-31 05:35:08
From:   sviergn
The assertions in this article, and in everything else I've read, indicate that the people behind JSF have no familiarity with Struts whatsoever--they pretend in their pronouncements that JSF is solving problems that have already been solved in Struts--especially the one described here, that of flexible navigation.

Having said this, I know that my assertion (that these people are not familiar with Struts) is totally untrue--Craig McLanahan, Struts lead developer, is the lead on Sun's JSF project. So why are the JSF proponents pretending that Struts does not exist when touting JSF? Struts is far from perfect--the very feature I talk about is nicely done in Struts but could be more easily configurable by application assemblers. But, in typical Sun fashion (can you say "EJB: the next generation???") they have created a system that does "more" than Struts, but at the cost that the simple things you could have done relatively easily with Struts are now ridiculously overcomplicated. Once again, Sun does not get the maxim "keep the simple things simple!" (Something many open source projects also frequently don't get, of course.) Showing off how "flexible" a framework is while noting that the simplest "Hello World" application is now a complex mess does not demonstrate how good that new framework is--instead, it demonstrates that the forces that got us to where we are today technologically do not get what is really important in the success of a framework.

On the one side, we have Microsoft with their "wizards", making simple things simple, but making anything beyond the simple impossible to implement without sophisticated tweaking. On the other side, we have Sun, demonstrating how amazingly flexible their frameworks are but simultaneously how amazingly difficult they are to use for even the simplest things.

It is possible to build frameworks that keep simple things simple AND allow maximum flexibility. The question is, where are they?

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  • Have these people heard about this "new" thing called "Struts"???
    2003-11-03 08:11:50  anonymous2 [View]

    Keeping simple things simple is one of the reasons I'm using Tapestry for my application.

    I was ready to drop Java for my next project. I intended to still use it on the backend, but have ASP for the presentation layer. The fact is, implementing a good JSP solution has become an incredible amount of work, even when using Struts.

    One of the things I've come to realize is JSP is a horrible standard. Mostly because they want to be like ASP, but they also compile into Servlets. This is the sort of bastard standard the Java community doesn't need.

    Tapestry allowed me to keep everything in Java, at least where it's important to me. I write the pages in HTML with 'hooks' into the framework. Page specifications are done in XML. ALL of the backend code is Java. It seems too good to be true, but it works. The learning curve is steep, documentation is still being written for it. However, I have found that the more I play with it, the easier it gets. Building components is a snap. Throwing out a simple page with some basic functionality is not the headache it used to be. It truly understands the concept of "reusable"

    I don't blame Sun of JSF for unnecessary complexity, because that seems to be the way of the entire community. It seems to me that too many Java developers pride themselves in how many levels of complexity they can add to their projects. How many design patterns and how many technologies seems to be how they measure success.

    I'm trying to get "back to basics" with my design. Use design patterns where they make sense, avoid anti-patterns as much as possible. Keep the applications as simple as possible while compromising on functionality as minimally as possible. With my current design using Tapestry, I can load up HTML templates in most HTML IDE's, including WYSIWYG editors, and any user familiar with HTML can edit them. A promise we've had with JSP's that I have yet to see delivered in over 4 years of JSP development.

    I sure hope this fascination with complexity is going to end soon.
  • Have these people heard about this "new" thing called "Struts"???
    2003-11-01 11:35:39  anonymous2 [View]

    Actually, the guy that created Struts also created JSF, so I'm sure he's heard about it.