Adding Transactions to Servlets with JOTM
Subject:   Dangerous and misleading
Date:   2004-04-05 02:53:16
From:   guypardon

Nice article, but dangerous and misleading for the following reason: it claims that JOTM is a transaction manager with full distributed transaction support and this is just not true.

A real transaction manager will support crash/restart recovery, and JOTM never did that (did the article mention this somewhere? If so, I must have missed it).

Crashes are a part of life and tend to happen especially on high loads with a maximum number of active transactions. Not having recovery is like smoking a cigarette on a pile of dynamite.

Tricking people into believing that JOTM works correctly can lead to _very_ expensive crashes where data is permanently corrupted. It's like driving a car without brakes: it moves, but as soon as there is an obstacle you crash full speed.

Equally misleading is the article's statement that JOTM can be used to develop robust applications. Not true, especially since it doesn't do recovery.

The law against unfair competition forbids one to make false product claims in most parts of the world. In my opinion, this law has been violated in this article (even if JOTM is open source). The potential damage this article can do to people who believe it is, in my view, enormous.

Also, combining XAPool with MySQL is again dangerous because this combination doesn't support recovery either.

I just wanted to point this out. By the way, I do know what I am talking about since I have designed and developed many JTA transaction managers, all of which support recovery and full distributed transactions.

Best regards,

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  • Dangerous and misleading
    2004-04-05 05:40:47  jeff.mesnil [View]

    Guy, thank you for your feedback on this article and JOTM.

    I clearly stated that JOTM helps to create more robust web applications. It was never my intent to write that JOTM makes your web applications ultimately robust. I still believe that even without recovery, JOTM makes web applications more robust and simple. But it's true that there is much more to have robust web applications.

    Concerning recovery, JOTM team has never hidden the fact that it does not support recovery.
    In the context of this article, we introduced JOTM and focused on its features. Perhaps, I should have added a section on the current limitations of JOTM (guess what? it's not bug free! ;-).

    You're well aware that there isn't any Java Open Source Transaction manager which provides recovery. But, nevertheless, JOTM is pushing very hard to be the first to implement it. It has a unique opportunity to do so.
    Indeed, JOTM has been relicensed to become the defaut transaction manager of both ObjectWeb/JOnAS and Apache/Geronimo.
    The two communities have decide to join their effort and to contribute to JOTM and to its recovery subprojects (HOWL). So, we acknowledged we lack recovery but we're making big commitments to meet that need.

    I think you're unfair when you suggest that I deliberately lied in this article to trick people. You've followed the JOTM project for long enough to know that we don't cheat our users. We believe in Open Source, we're objective
    about our product and our concurrence (including your own product).

    However, I took into account your critics and I'd like to write a followup to this article when recovery is implemented in JOTM showing how it helps creating even more robust web applications.