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At a loss to which technology to use...

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Hi all,

I was wondering if there are any guides to dermining which frameworks to use when.. I am about to embark on a little learning project to convert a forum application I wrote in another language a long time ago to java, but cant decide whether JSP's & Servlets are best, or to incorporate struts, or even tapestry which from my reading seems very interesting, but might be overkill.

There isnt really much involved to my project, a Registration Page, A Login Page, A Profile Editor, And the forum display screens themselves. Later on down the line I would like to futher enhance it with an RSS feed, and enhance the user profiles, so users can upload images of themselves perhaps, and the message editor in the system has a lot of scope for future enhancements,rather than a plain textarea. Anyway thats just my brainstorming coming out there..

From my limited experience so far with JSP's and servlets I have found I am creating a new servlet for each form post within my applications, so in a project like this I can see lots and lots of servlets.. maybe this is acceptable I dont quite know.

Any thoughts/advice greatly appreciated.


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For a relatively simple application, you could probably use just JSPs and Servlets. However, after a while you may yourself writing a lot of "plumbing" type code. Frameworks like Struts and Tapestry take care of the "plumbing" and abstract away a lot of the low-level implementation details, making it easier to write and maintain complex web applications. Struts is relatively easy to learn and use and I find that it's a natural extension of what you do when using regular JSPs and Servlets. There are also many resources available for reference. Tapestry, from what I have read, has a bit of a learning curve to it but after you "get" it, you should be fine.
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My 2 cents ... I'd try the vanilla servlet & jsp approach first. Maybe invest a few days and a few pages in it at least. It will give you a much better appreciation of what Struts (or some other framework) is doing for you, and let you decide if the framework is really worth while.

I had a recent requirement to implement a few pages outside the framework the rest of the app uses (it requires IE6, some users were on NT) and found it very productive to throw up a little framework of my own - one servlet, a couple helper classes, an XML configuration file and Bob's Your Uncle! (I'm told that's Brit for "Hey, I'm done!")
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