-J2EE Developer at Turkiye Is Bankası Core Banking Exchange project -Java-Flex Developer in TAV IT. Built softwares for several international airport (istanbul, ankara, izmir, tblisi, batumi, emfidha) with JPA/Spring/CXF/BlazeDS on server side and Flex on rich clients. -JavaEE&Process Project Laader at HSBC. -Presenter at Eclipsist 2008, on Rapid Rich Internet Application Development. Murat has posted 8 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

This Time Last Year...

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As a recent member of 30s club I decided to compare a few things with last year. This time last year I was just starting a new project and a new colleague was insisting on using wicket. We had just finished some projects with JSF, so everybody in the team was quite familiar with that technology. I was personally very interested in Flex which was version 2 by that time.
At that time Wicket had just been moved to Apache and was in incubation period.
By that time last year my impressions about JSF, Wicket and Flex were;


JSF is outdated, we must leave it behind and evolve. Ajax and Javascript sucks. I am very keen on trying any technology which will replace Javascript. Meanwhile Netbeans are offering nice tools for JSF but i can't even imagine replacing Eclipse. GWT can be a nice alternative.
Wicket is nice, you code and debug in the native Java platform. The Java and HTML code is totally seperated but still not easy enough to allow a designer and developer to work seperately. The learning curve is not so easy even though it is just plain Java code. Although wicket has embedded Javascript features, you still need to code Javascript which caused our project not to run on Firefox at the beginning of the development. Since Wicket is under Apache now I think their future is bright.
Flex is fantastic but for a year I have been waiting them to make a leap which they couldn't. I think that developers are too afraid to leave HTML behind and work in the Flash runtime. News about Flex 3 is everywhere. I believe the learning curve is very easy and since Flex builder is just a plugin for Eclipse, it feels so comfortable to code.


JSF is still popular, as developers are so experienced with it. Sun is making good progress and Version 2 Early Access is available. My thoughts about JSF have changed a lot. I believe it is still a good choice since people are so experienced, and JSF and its tools have become so mature. New version of Netbeans again offering nice features but still I can't imagine migrating to Netbeans from Eclipse. We are all waiting for Weblets. Several application servers are now JavaEE 5 compatible which indirectly makes JSF stronger. Well my new project will be on JSF, I will miss Flex a lot but corporations still prefer JSF.
Wicket is a disappoinment. One year passed and I don't see any progress, I haven't seen any big projects developed on Wicket and people are concerned about future of Wicket. My ex-colleagues (all are Flex developers) who are joining my old project doesn't want to learn and use Wicket. After Flex developers don't find Wicket fun, the output is plain, Javascript is still on the stage and JSF is much more mature and developers are more experienced on it.
Flex is version 3 for over 4 months which was not a major release but still very fun to use. Licence prices of the builder dropped. BlazeDS, which is a subset of LiveServices, is now open sourced. We have completed 2 successful projects with Flex and the one which is 70% Wicket, the rest Flex, is  still struggling. The team is quite experienced with Flex now and Flex at last made the leap I was expecting long ago. Version 4 news hits the blogs and the new features are amazing. Everything is really progressing on the Flex side.

Well when I look back I see that my views have changed so dramatically that I am not sure what will this year bring. Last month we had a presentation and workshop on Flex with a Java back-end in which everything went very smoothly and we could finish a project from scratch. Next week I will be in caves of JSF again so now I am watching the news of JSF 2.0 with more caution.

As I said before, today I am officially a member of 30s club, am I considered to be a wise and aged programmer? :)

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Murat Yener. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Onur Ersen replied on Wed, 2008/07/23 - 5:35am

With my apologies i kindly ask you where have you been through this time ? :)

I have parallel thoughts in this 2007-2008 period with you Murat.

Apart from Sun's JSF implementations incontrovertible contributions by organizations like Jboss,Apache etc. made JSF a strong and  challenging alternative for web apps as you've mentioned in your article.

When I first saw Wicket I thought this is what will dethrone JSF!! Wicket is still a nice technology to be used in fields of applications where JSF is used but it still couldn't break into corporate frameworks.(Am i wrong or perhaps i haven't seen one yet?)

I think there is a little bit strategical and political inhibitors over wicket to become sth like JSF maybe by collaborators maybe communities and those who support JSF and its various implementations...?



James Law replied on Wed, 2008/07/23 - 5:59pm

I am not sure I buy your comment that there is a large set of skilled JSF developers out there. I know a lot of java developers and nearly all of them avoid JSF like its the plague. Sure they can build hangman/numberguess, but what about really complicated UI's? Wicket is a refreshing alternative that requires little developer workload (no jstl/facelets/jsf phase overload), and I think it is here to stay- at least until all server side html generation is abandoned in favor of ajax/javascript or flex/silverlight.

Like Hibernate provided to JPA, JSF should start from real world working implementations (like Wicket/Tapestry) and build on top of these, instead of making a standard from thin air.  



Murat Yener replied on Thu, 2008/07/24 - 12:35am in response to: James Law

I agree developers try to avoid JSF but in the end there a lot more JSF developers than any other since there is a demand and actually most people avaoding JSF because of JavaScript. Actually it is so easy to test, login to any Job site and search JSF, Flex, Wicket, Tapestry... Most demand doesn't mean it is the best but JSF still has the most demand.


Igor Vaynberg replied on Thu, 2008/07/24 - 12:08pm in response to: Murat Yener

actually struts has the most demand :)

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