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Posted by editor on September 29, 2005 at 8:31 AM PDT

Alternatives to too-complicated web app frameworks

It's day two of the summit out here in Santa Clara, with the executive board / infrastructure team looking at the site, considering feedback from community leaders, and planning out our big ideas for the next year and beyond. It will be a while before you see any of this on the site, but rest assured that we're not standing still -- will continue to change and adapt to better suit the needs of its members.

Speaking of change, it's hard to see any more profound change in the realm of web applciation development than the movement from top-heavy formal specs like EJB 2.1 to more nimble alternatives. Ruby on Rails is the poster child here, and it has inspired Java developers to seek out frameworks that give them the ability to get web apps up quickly, without having to change languages and throw out everything they've learned in the last few years. Not that RoR was the first, mind you, it's just that it best typifies some of the ideas of "convention over configuration", which Oliver Keissler employs in his web ap framework, "karma":

The karma framework was created to tackle the problem of unnecessary complexity, to reduce the amount of configuration needed to get simple things working. The key is that it uses a set of conventions to find stuff. This approach is called convention over configuration. This is nothing unusual these days but when I started the framework about a year ago, this approach was not widely implemented.

In the Feature Article,
Developing Content-Driven Web Apps with karma-jcr, Oliver introduces the karma framework by way of a "news page" application, showing how you can use the data-persistence piece karma-jcr to quickly add CRUD (create, retrieve, update, delete) functionality to an MVC-oriented karma web application. Add just a little JSP for the client side and you have a functional web application up and running.

In Projects and
the NetBeans Community has announced the release of NetBeans 5.0 Beta, which brings significant new capabilities to the NetBeans IDE, Mobility Pack, Profiler, and the NetBeans Platform. IDE changes include support for plug-in development and rich client apps based on NetBeans, the Matisse GUI builder, redesigned CVS support, Weblogic 9 and JBoss support, and more.

Apple Technical Note TN2110: Identifying Java on Mac OS X describes how to use system properties to determine the version of Java currently being run, as Mac OS X ships with 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 implementations and has J2SE 5.0 as an optional download. A series of tables shows the version strings that may be encountered on various versions of Mac OS X.

In today's Weblogs, Vikram Goyal is highly suspicious of the news Nokia joins Eclipse for J2ME development:
"Nokia has decided to join the Eclipse project as a board member and a strategic developer, whatever that means. Sorry, I know what it means..."

John O'Conner is carrying out a very public investigation into Mustang development in
Contributing to Mustang: An Experiment Begins:
"Sun wants the community to contribute to Mustang development. How easy is it to contribute? Can I do it? Let's experiment!"

Application Servers or IDEs running on PSP?, Ludovic Champenois teases
"GlassFish Java EE 5 or NetBeans 5.0 Beta running on Sony PSP? I wish..."

In Also in
Java Today
"Wouldn't it be nice to combine the declarative power of Apache Ant build scripts and its rich cross platform library of tasks with the flexibility and dynamism of BeanShell, a Java scripting environment? This is actually possible with less than 150 lines of BeanShell code." Pankaj Kumar's Supercharging BeanShell with Ant explains how to "execute any Ant task from within a BeanShell script, bringing the rich and growing Ant task library to BeanShell programmers and, in the process, vastly increasing its potential for serious scripting. This kind of bridging is good for Ant as well, allowing Ant tasks to be used within familiar control and looping constructs."

"The Observer Pattern is also known as a publisher and subscriber design pattern. The pattern is useful when you have one publisher and many subscribers (one-to-many) that are interested in the publisher's state or messages." In Spring Loaded Observer Pattern Scott Priolo describes "an easy process of implementing the observer pattern within the Spring framework, as well as an easy way to start the Spring Framework in any project."

mthornton has an idea
Re: FS extended attributes and FS notifications in Java
in today's Forums:
"It occurs to me that there is already a Java API that could provide access to attributes (in bulk) and also notification. Namely JNDI. All that is needed is a suitable JNDI provider for the file system (and not the trivial one built on top of File). While this would be more complex to use than a purpose built API for files and file systems, perhaps the extra work in learning to use it would pay off when using JNDI for other purposes such as DNS queries. After all, File already covers most of the simple use cases."

qubitnl wonders about
Code coverage, Mem-leak and perfromance tools:
"Hi i'm currently busy searching for some Code coverage, Mem-leak and performance tools. But I can't decide what is good to use, there are so many. I'm using Eclipse as IDE. There are some requirements to the tools though. They have to be run from the command line or ant. It would be nice if the tools come as one complete package, and it also would be nice if they are open source. This however does not mean that i'm not interested in commercial tools. Which tools do you recommend?"

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Alternatives to too-complicated web app frameworks