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;
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.
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? :)