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Announcing genesis

Posted by mister__m on December 13, 2004 at 10:27 AM PST

A few weeks ago, we've silently released the first public beta version of genesis. But what is genesis about?

genesis is open-source software (LGPL) and its main objective is to allow you to build powerful, scalable applications in a simple, productive and testable way. Although its long term goals are much more ambitious, right now it focuses on two main areas:

  • UI programming: your form is just an annotated POJO and... that is it; no further requirements. Annotations will allow you to automatically populate comboboxes and tables, to enable/disable widgets, make them visible or not, clear fields based on conditions etc., in a declarative way. Programming a complex UI becomes a very simple task, which is one of the main reasons some people still avoid using Java on the desktop. The current implementation uses Thinlet as the view technology, but other APIs, such as Swing, will be supported soon.
  • Business components: many "modern" frameworks support a POJO model for business components, but there are still several limitations - a business object cannot be directly instantiated, but rather injected or looked up using a factory, for example, or you have to expose your POJO using an interface or otherwise you won't be able to take advantage of most facilities offered by these frameworks. genesis takes a different road: you can use new to instantiate your components and they don't have to implement or be exposed by any interface in order to take advantage of genesis' facilities. In runtime, depending on your configuration, genesis may use EJB technology to execute your POJOs as if they were Stateless Session Beans or you can work in local mode (which is cool for some desktop applications). You don't have to change a single line of code to switch execution modes, but just use a different target to build your application. Current genesis features include transparent remoting, transactional support and DI (dependency injection) for Hibernate. General DI will be supported soon.

genesis does not try to reinvent the wheel, but rather builds on top of several other open-source projects to deliver its functionalities. Besides Thinlet, this release relies heavily on AspectWerkz and AOP to implement a flexible core so that new ways to do remoting or to configure a form - using xml, for example - are easy to write and don't require any changes to existent genesis code. So, if you are looking for practical ways of using AOP, check out genesis sources.

genesis is already running on production environments and, in one of them, the server-side application is capable of handling more than 1.125 million transactions per day with a single box. You can access genesis docs and download it at https://genesis.dev.java.net

UPDATE: genesis was the 2nd largest java.net project by commits last month according to this report, so it is really worth a quick look. ;-)

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