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The Art of Web Development - what framework versions?

 
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I saw that you had to make a post to win a copy of the "Art of Java Web Development" - so here goes...
I currently develop an application called AppFuse that is designed to take the pain out of starting a new Struts project. It currently using Hibernate on the backend and leverages XDoclet and Ant heavily to configure, build, test and deploy everything.
In the next couple of months, I'm looking to offer iBatis's SQLMaps as an alternative persistence framework and also offer a number of web frameworks as an alternative to Struts. Namely Spring, Tapestry, WebWork and possibly JSF. Because of this goal, I have a couple of questions:
1. Do you cover Spring in your book? What about Tapestry, WebWork and JSF? If so, which versions - are they the latest and greatest? Would your book serve as a good reference for starting a new project with each of these frameworks.
2. Validation - one of the things I've found in comparing Struts to other frameworks is that their validation engines are all different. Struts seems to have the most elegant solution - where rules can be defined in an XML file and this file can be generated via XDoclet.
3. Expression Languages - Struts/JSF use JSTL's and WebWork/Tapestry use OGNL? Why the difference? Will these frameworks ever align on their EL usage or allow both?
Thanks,
Matt
 
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Matt -

1. Do you cover Spring in your book? What about Tapestry, WebWork and JSF? If so, which versions - are they the latest and greatest? Would your book serve as a good reference for starting a new project with each of these frameworks.


I do not cover Spring nor JSF (which was only a twinkle in the eye of a spec writer) in the book, but I do cover both Tapestry and WebWork. The versions of both of them are one behind what's shipping now -- Tapestry 2 and WebWork 1. I wanted to cover the later versions, but they were in early beta when I was writing the book. However, many of the concepts I cover apply equally in both versions.

2. Validation - one of the things I've found in comparing Struts to other frameworks is that their validation engines are all different. Struts seems to have the most elegant solution - where rules can be defined in an XML file and this file can be generated via XDoclet.


Yes, all the validation engines are quite different. One of the comparison mechanisms I used was to write the same application in each framework, and that included validation. It is amazing how so many different frameworks, most of which are strongly Model 2, can offer such different validation techniques. Validation is covered for all the frameworks. I, too, really like Struts 1.1 declarative validation, but some of the others (particularly the use of the JavaBeans API in WebWork) are pretty nice.

3. Expression Languages - Struts/JSF use JSTL's and WebWork/Tapestry use OGNL? Why the difference? Will these frameworks ever align on their EL usage or allow both?


Why the difference? You'll have to ask the writers of the frameworks that one! Both have advantages and disadvantages. WebWork does a great job integrating their EL and a Value Stack for JSP pages. I think it boils down to developer preference. I personally don't think there will ever be an ANSI standard expression language (there certainly isn't one for masking languages -- everybody rolls their own!).
 
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