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From "Frank W. Zammetti" <>
Subject Re: has struts reached the saturation
Date Thu, 16 Mar 2006 00:23:02 GMT
Craig McClanahan wrote:
> On 3/15/06, Frank W. Zammetti <> wrote:
>> Growing like wildfire?  Hmm... well, I'm certainly not intimately
>> familiar with that community, so I can't argue that point.
> If you believe that, nothing I can do will persuade you otherwise.  

If I believe what Craig?  That I'm not familiar with that community? 
I'm not.  That I can't argue the point?  I can't.  I have no idea what 
you just said here frankly.  Or are YOU in fact reading into it what you 
want to read into it, as you accuse me of doing here?

You know Craig, you strike me as someone who doesn't like people 
disagreeing with you.  That's too bad.  Re-read my posts over the last 
few months.  My tune has changed (as you admitted to me at one point by 
the way).  I have NOT said anything blatantly negative about JSF, and I 
have NOT pushed my opinions as fact.  And I have NOT been on a crusade 
to convince anyone to think as I do.  I have pretty clearly said that 
these are MY feelings, MY perceptions and MY beliefs.  I have also not 
said I am right and you (or anyone else) is wrong.  In fact, more and 
more I've been saying that *I* may in fact wind up being wrong.  You 
seem to need to see me as an adversary, and that's too bad.  It is 
simply not the case.  The fact that you may not agree with what I say is 
fine, but I have as much right to say it as anyone else does.

 > I'll
> just leave you with my personal belief ... MyFaces is very close to knocking
> off Struts as the second most popular Java-focused Apache project (after
> Tomcat) by every measure *I* can see.  And I talk to *lots* of developers
> over time -- not just the few that pay attention to the Struts mailing
> lists, and the overwhelming question I get *used* to be "which do I choose,
> Struts or JSF", and in the last three months it has turned into "what's my
> migration strategy?"

I'll take your word for that.  I can tell you that I receive more than a 
few messages that say just the opposite, that JSF does not impress them 
and they won't be going to it any time soon.

> I see more books about JSF that were published in the three *months* after
> 1.0 went final than in the three *years* after Struts 1.0 went final (and
> that takes some doing -- Struts got a *huge* amount of coverage).

Oh, I am SO fighting the urge to answer that.

> I see job postings that used to be 80/20 "struts and everything else" start
> to be 30/30/20 "struts/JSF/everything else".

I will again take your word for that, I have not been looking at job 
listings lately.

> I see credible efforts from multiple parties to create JSF based component
> libraries ... orders of magnitude more successful than JSP was ever able to
> get people to build tag libraries.

Hmm... I see an absolute plethora of taglibs out there on the net... are 
you perhaps referring to commercial offerings?  You may well be right in 
that case.

> I see better tool support for JSF than I see for Struts.  Again, *months*
> rather than years after the 1.0 release.

Well of COURSE you do!  JSF is *MADE* for tooling, it *HAS* to be 
better!  Your statement is a red herring IMO.

> And, I see a pretty significant backlash against Struts *because* of our
> emphasis on backwards compatibility.  Hopefully, SAF 2.0 (the result of the
> WW merger) can put that crap to rest -- but I've gotta tell you ... if
> Struts developers hadn't been so passionate about backwards compatibility,
> it would have *never* seen the early adopters that it saw.  Tell me that was
> a bad thing.

Nope, absolutely not a bad thing.  I think the insistence on 
backwards-compatibility, even in the face of criticism, is to the credit 
of those that withstood (and continue to withstand) the criticism.

> So what are you seeing?  Or are you just seeing things you wish were true?

And there it is!  Someones' opinion or impression doesn't jive with 
yours, so of COURSE they must be imagining things!

And now you get to claim the same thing you did about DJ... I talk to a 
lot of developers Craig.  Not as many as you I suspect, but a lot.  A 
good number seem to seek me out because of my public stance on things. 
I won't name names unless those people say it's OK to do so, they came 
to me in private.  But I can tell you that I've heard a very common 
theme over the past year or so, and that is that JSF isn't for them at 
the moment, but IS improving, and MIGHT be worth it to them down the road.

Now, you see the negative in that apparently and dismiss the positive. 
You want everyone to think JSF kicks ass RIGHT NOW.  And for some it 
absolutely does!  I see the positive in it: you, and everyone involved 
in JSF, my well be moving in the right direction.  Why do you, 
seemingly, have such a problem with people saying "I don't much care for 
it now, but maybe eventually"?  Because *THAT* is precisely what I've 
been saying for months now, and if you don't believe me, spend some time 
in the archives.  Yes, I've made my criticisms, but I've nearly always 
followed it with "but there is still hope".  Look at the glass half 
full, not half empty, and you might not be as upset with me as this post 
seems to indicate.

> Legacy doesn't count in this equation -- *of course* if you have existing
> apps based on Struts you are going to be pretty passionate about ongoing
> support.  And for those folks, the activity around Struts Action Framework
> and the WebWork merge is absolute goodness.  But it's time to stop being an
> ostrich, and understand that JSF is *already* here to stay.  You seem to be
> one of the repeaters of the "JSF hasn't lived up to expectations" mantra.
> *Whose* expectations are you talking about?  Your perception of this
> certainly does not match my experience over the last couple of years.

And conversely, yours does not match mine.  But, and this is the part 
you should take away IMO, I'm moving towards you!  Have been for some time.

As for the expectations, DJ ironically says it better than I do... JSF 
has been around for a number of years and is not yet #1.  As much hype 
as we've been hearing the whole time, my expectation is that it would 
be.  IT MIGHT WIND UP BEING #1.  That's really where the problem comes 
from Craig, the constant hype and the constant regurgitation of the 
"this is the future" mantra (talking about mantras!).  If we weren't 
constantly being force-fed JSF, I for one would have virtually nothing 
to complain about.  Your right, I am a repeater of that mantra.  I don't 
deny it.  You want to know whos expectations?  Everyone that has ever 
told us that JSF is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  That sets an 
expectation that virtually nothing could live up to.

> * If you have existing Struts based apps, don't feel threatened into being
> forced to move.  Struts
>   Action Framework will take care of your needs, and has a clear roadmap
> (with the WW2 merger)
>   to make your life better.

I like that answer.  Completely appropriate.

> * If you have existing Struts based apps, but need some of the benefits that
> components can
>   bring you (but also don't have time to migrate an entire app) ... no
> problem.  The Struts-Faces
>   integration library allows you to transition from one architecture to the
> other, one page at a time,
>   althougth this is not an optimum long term architectuire.  But it means
> you are *not* stuck
>   having to convert your entire app at once.

Also a perfect answer.

> * If you are starting a new project, you owe it to yourself to evaluate the
> benefits a component
>   oriented architecture can bring to your application.  If you don't know
> that those are, shame on you :-).
>   Note that there are no functional limitations ( i.e. things you can do in
> an action oriented framework
>   that you cannot do in an appropriately architected component framework),
> so the key decision
>   point needs to be whether you can benefit from components or not.
> Opinions that the underlying
>   architecture of the framework really matters to anyone beyond framework
> geeks needs to be
>   *seriously* questioned :-).

And, this might surprise you: I couldn't agree more!

> * If you need to transition from Struts to a JSF-based architecture, it is
> much less painful than you
>   might be led to believe by the currently popular FUD :-).  

Ah, but it goes both ways, and I already know you don't agree :)  Moving 
to JSF is not as painless as some would lead you to believe... well, 
unless perhaps if you buy into the tooling 100%.  Even then, maybe not.

 > And, as an
> added benefit, transitioning
>   from what's likely to emerge from the WebWork merger into Struts Action
> Framework 2 is going to
>   be even easier :-).  The WW2 concept of an action class, and the JSF
> notion of a backing bean,
>   are virtually indistinuishable.  The only substantive differences are in
> how you customize the
>   overall framework behavior ... and that is more in the "how do I do it"
> details, rather than
>   "what can i do."

Agreed there again.

Craig, I certainly hope this reply doesn't put us permanently at odds. 
We were almost at that point in the past, and I take full responsibility 
for that instance, but I thought we had pulled back from the abyss :) 
This time I absolutely won't take responsibility for it though.  We 
clearly have some differing ideas here, and I would hope that isn't a 
problem for you.  I can tell you I always read your posts with great 
interest, even when I totally disagree with you, because I respect your 
achievements and value your insights.  I can only hope you can say the 
same, whether about me or about anyone else that says things you don't 
agree with.  I don't begrudge you the right to say whatever you think, 
even when it is completely at odds with me, and I sincerely hope you 
have the same feeling the other way.


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