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From Ken Bowen <>
Subject Re: DWR [Slightly off topic -- Was Struts vs JSF (poll?)]
Date Sun, 24 Aug 2008 21:36:07 GMT

This may be too far off-list; if so please suggest another channel.
However, there may be other developers lurking on the list who would  
also be interested.

I've downloaded DWR and performed a cursory look through the examples,  
and it looks
promising (I've done a chunk of very bare-metal ajax, and a chunk of  
I've also read your blog entry on the subject and am quite convinced  
about the desirability of
an RPC-like framework.  What I don't have a feel for is the mix  
between ordinary html and
javascript that might be forced on you by DWR.

The item making me hesitant about sticking my big toe in the icy cold  
water is this:
I'm looking at a couple of "legacy" struts 1.8 apps which need to have  
some more powerful mini-apps
dropped into the pages without completely throwing out the existing  
pages: think souped-up puzzles,
or souped up local database query or souped-up wizard-like expert  
diagnostic action.
I'd hope to be able to at least preserve the tiles-based layout, and  
even the fundamental
struts-control (constraining as I feel about that), just to cut down  
on the extent of rework.

I wonder if you would comment on this.

Thanks in advance,

On Aug 24, 2008, at 4:10 PM, Frank W. Zammetti wrote:

> Being as most of what I do today is RIA development, I've personally
> found that the ideal solution is to use NO framework at all.  I use  
> and just treat everything as method calls.
> The nice thing about that is you wind up with a very clean and "plain"
> structure to your application in the sense that you're thinking in  
> terms
> of classes and methods, like you do in general server-side anyway.  It
> also makes most of your application highly testable (except where
> session comes into play, but we tend to try and minimize that usage
> anyway).  You design a proper API, and the fact that you're using it
> behind a web-based application isn't really relevant (and in fact you
> can truly slap any front-end on you want without much trouble).
> I've found that my projects drift towards more of a component-based
> model naturally doing this, and away from the classic page/action- 
> based
> model of Struts (which is where we were a few years ago).  It becomes
> much more about events, small, focused bits of functionality, and how
> it's all put together to form a larger whole. The development cycle I
> find is much faster, much simpler and the results are far more  
> flexible
> and extensible.  It's in some sense a return to a more "bare metal"
> mentality, but it's truly made our lives a whole lot better.  I've had
> to mentor some pretty inexperienced teams and I've seen this approach
> versus the framework-centric approach with something like Struts, and
> I've observed it to be much easier to get their brains wrapped around
> this approach, they come up to speed and are effective faster, and  
> they
> are more effective than in cases where a full, "proper" framework  
> was used.
> So, if the question is Struts vs. JSF, I'm in agreement with Johnny  
> to a
> large degree: neither is the best answer.  And in fact, I second the  
> "no
> framework at all" opinion.  I suppose if you wanted to consider DWR a
> framework then I'd say DWR, but it's really just a mechanism, not a
> framework (it could be something else other than DWR, so long as it
> presented an RPC view of the world it'd be the same basically).  But  
> as
> far as the "true" frameworks go, as we've come to understand them over
> the past few years, my personal opinion is that they serve no purpose
> any longer when talking about developing modern RIAs, and in fact tend
> to get in the way more than they help in those situations.  I  
> completely
> realize this isn't the popular opinion (yet), and many people actually
> disagree quite vehemently, but I've had pretty extensive experience
> building these types of apps for nearly 10 years now, and that's the
> mindset I've come to at this point.
> (I tend not to say this often, because it's usually annoying to me  
> when
> people do it, but what the hell... I actually blogged about this a
> little while back:
> Frank
> -- 
> Frank W. Zammetti
> Author of "Practical Dojo Projects"
>  abd "Practical DWR 2 Projects"
>  and "Practical JavaScript, DOM Scripting and Ajax Projects"
>  and "Practical Ajax Projects With Java Technology"
>  (For info:
> My "look ma, I have a blog too!" blog:
> Johnny Kewl wrote:
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tommy Pham" <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 7:03 AM
>> Subject: Struts vs JSF (poll?)
>>> Hi everyone,
>>> This maybe out of scope for this list but I wanted to know more  
>>> about
>>> Struts vs JSF other this old article [1].  Which are are deployed
>>> mostly on your TC server(s)/cluster(s)?  If any Java developers are
>>> on this list, which platform API do you prefer for quick development
>>> (to meet deadline), performance, security management (user
>>> authentication and level restriction) etc... since both are based on
>>> MVC despite their different implementations(?).
>>> Since there isn't a JSR for Struts, has Struts been around before  
>>> JCP
>>> is formed?  And why is there not a JSR for Struts now (just  
>>> curious)?
>>> As for JSF, which implementation is used by/for your app(s)?
>>> Sun/NetBeans? Apache's MyFaces? or Others (please list)?  I'm
>>> somewhat disappointed Netbeans support for JSF and Struts in that
>>> Netbeans bundled libs support used older Apache Commons lib version
>>> (even for the current v6.1), although this could be updated but I
>>> don't know whether it will break the integration of Netbeans' VWP.
>>> Even the tutorial/trails on NetBeans site regarding Struts (although
>>> this can be compensated at Struts' web site) is very limited perhaps
>>> because of the (biased?) Struts weak integration to favor or push
>>> more on JSF/Visual JSF?
>>> I need to evaluate my options of API and IDE before I dedicate
>>> several projects since the performance of Netbeans is getting worse
>>> by every release comparing to Eclipse.  As for server, I've decided
>>> already ;)
>>> TIA,
>>> Tommy
>>> [1]
>> Use neither... prefer the plain TC MVC model.
>> Struts is really just an implementation of the MVC model in TC
>> JSF is more about trying to make web development feel like Swing
>> development... see Visual Web Pages in NB
>> Struts is very much a stand alone tool.
>> JSF needs the whole VWP framework to make it go.
>> Struts may not be a Sun standard... but Apache is a brand you can
>> trust... its generally all good free stuff.
>> JSF and VWP are Suns baby.
>> Sun and Apache dont see eye to eye on everything ;)
>> Netbeans is Sun
>> Eclipse isnt
>> You get the picture... theres some helthy competition out there ;)
>> The truth is... if you know what you doing, you dont need a
>> framework... if not a framework will get you going quickly.
>> Frameworks are cool until you want to do something outside of the
>> framework...
>> That applies to VWP or Struts...
>> If I had no other choice, I'd use Struts... but I'd also use NB ;)
>> Big problem with the NB JSF tools is the complete lockin... so if  
>> your
>> graphic artist is on Adobe, or FrontPage or anything else... they
>> going to hate you ;)
>> The NB JSF doesnt lend itself to multiple tools... its the swing way
>> or no way... or extreme pain when you need something from the outside
>> world;)
>> Its not about standards, its about lockin... actually many  
>> "standards"
>> also mean lock in... thats probably why they made them.
>> You cant beat just having a good clever designer on your team...  
>> there
>> are many in this TC group... hire one.
>> Also dont be a groupie... just think about the technology...
>> Trouble with that is the NB is cocking up trying to push glassfish
>> into it... but NB is Sun and Sun control Java... not a simple as its
>> just crap.
>> On the server end, there is a competition problem... on Java Core...
>> its hard to beat ;)
>> Being a Java programmer is full of hard choices;)
>> Have Fun.... and choose carefully... read up on the TC MVC model...
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