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From "Farr, Aaron" <Aaron.F...@am.sony.com>
Subject RE: Zen Framework (was Re: [avalon] roadmap)
Date Wed, 03 Mar 2004 18:01:42 GMT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Niclas Hedhman [mailto:niclas@hedhman.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 12:49 PM
> To: Avalon Developers List
> Subject: Re: Zen Framework (was Re: [avalon] roadmap)
> On Thursday 04 March 2004 01:10, Berin Loritsch wrote:
> > The current state of merlin is
> > that there are so many contracts that I feel like I need to understand
> that
> > I can't possibly keep them straight.
> If this is the case, then we are failing in the education sector.
> Perhaps, Stephen (and I to some extent) are too quick to refer to the
> advanced
> sections, instead of promoting the "simple side". Perhaps there are more
> we
> can do in the "kitchen sink" area, for simpler usage patterns, which I
> think
> we all can agree upon are desireable.

I have to admit, Merlin *isn't* as complicated as everyone makes it out to
be.  Or I should say, it doesn't have to be.  (And I count myself amongst
the crew that uses Fortress all the time because it's simple.)

The component - container contract for Merlin is very stable and very
simple.  You can do everything you need to do with Merlin without depending
on anything but the Avalon framework jar. That was harder to do in Phoenix
and impossible in Fortress (because you had to write your own 'main' class).
Merlin uses a lot of "magic" on the inside sometimes, but that is completely
hidden from the users.

So to use Merlin you need to know:

  1. The basic Avalon Framework API (avalon-framework.jar)
  2. The basic meta-data tags
  3. The block.xml descriptor
  4. How to call "merlin.bat" or "merlin.sh"

That isn't significantly more or less than what you have to do with Phoenix
or Fortress or even Pico or Spring.

I think what would help a lot of people would be to do a Merlin introduction
to Fortress users.  It would help me and I'm thinking of writing it.
Something that would help Fortress (and maybe Pico) users understand Merlin
and see how it compares to and improves on things.

The big barrier to Merlin is often all the extra vocabulary and "advanced"
features which intimidate new and experienced users.

J. Aaron Farr
  (724) 696-7653

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