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From "Chris Pratt" <>
Subject Re: [OT] What do you code today?
Date Fri, 04 Apr 2008 16:41:06 GMT
I'm still working on externally facing applications.  The company has
a few different types of user that it supports (Members who receive
services, Providers who provide the services, Brokers who sell the
service, and Clients that pay for their members to receive services).
Each of these audiences has their own web site to support their needs.
 Up to about 4 months ago, each of these sites was written in it's
own, home-grown framework which effectively prevented developers from
one team helping out any of the other teams.

So, recently I had the opportunity to try out a few different
technology stacks to try and pick one for the company.  I started with
Struts 1 and we wrote a successful externally facing application that
was well received and most of the people that are maintaining it
haven't had any problems.

Next I wrote a Struts 1/Tiles 1 application that had a strict
internationalization requirement (since it had to support multiple
languages from day 1).  That also went very well and has been an easy
maintainence platform.

After that I wrote my first Struts 2 app (with Spring and Acegi
security).  I fell in love with the new controller, but I'm still a
bit disappointed in the view.  Struts 2 definitely has a steeper
learning curve for our junior programmers since it's a bigger
departure from what they're used to, but it's worth the climb.  And
while I think Acegi probably has a place in a packaged application
where you're not sure what form the authentication database will take,
it was waaayyy overkill and waaayyy, waaayyy to complex for what we
needed.  To this day I'm still the only one that can do maintainence
on that part of the site.

So then the powers-that-be sent down a decree that, since they
consider us an IBM shop and HAL has said that JSF is the way of the
future, that we would have to use JSF (even after all the discovery
that had been done in-house).  So we embarked on a two month fiasco to
try and convert our current Struts 1 like, MVC applications, that have
requirements like sending out formatted e-mails and generating PDF's
on the fly, to JSF which was a dismal failure.

Fast forward to 4 months ago when we started the actual rewrite of the
first audience web site using Struts 2, Spring, and Tiles 2.  We
removed Acegi from the mix and wrote a very flexible (if I do say so
myself) authentication/authorization system that is currently backed
by both LDAP and ActiveDirectory (something we could never get working
in Acegi).  We have about 1 month left and we'll be "shipping" the
first of the new, unified, web sites.  Then it's on to the next

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