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From "Hookom, Jacob" <>
Subject RE: Theoretical debate
Date Thu, 17 Jun 2004 20:03:56 GMT
Just a follow up note on my blabber below, when using struts, you have to
educate developers on the lifecycle and what all the parts are to the struts
equation-- when a form gets reset, when it's validated, how to switch struts
modules, etc.  Just take a look at this past week's user group questions...

-----Original Message-----
From: Hookom, Jacob [] 
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 2:58 PM
To: 'Struts Users Mailing List'
Subject: RE: Theoretical debate

I completely agree with what Crysalis is trying to push, also a framework
called VRaptor ( also pushes the same idea of moving away from
the procedural weight that Struts promotes.

Look at JSF, do you have actions? No, JSF just updates your POJO beans and
calls methods on them.  Why have an ActionForm or have to create all of
these Actions that are simply getter/setter adapters?  Please don't be too
quick to retort to my supposed anti-struts mindset, but there are other
frameworks out there that allow direct interaction with my business objects
and don't require a heck of a lot of framework specific coding.


To have a multi-page form with JSF, I just create a bean that sits in
Session scope that has a series of getters and setters.  JSF will also allow
me to pre-set relationships to other objects at creation time.  Then, when
I'm ready to submit the multi-page form, I just put in the jsp
#{myFormBean.submit}.  No action mappings, only a managed bean entry.

With Struts, I have to create an ActionForm objects (can't just use a
business object I already have), and then create separate Action objects to
manipulate that ActionForm.


-Jacob Hookom

-----Original Message-----
From: Frank Zammetti [] 
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 2:29 PM
Subject: Theoretical debate

Last night I was Googling for something and I stumbled across the Crysalis 
framework.  I was actualyl intrigued by the underlying premise of it and I 
wanted to see what others thought about it.

In a nutshell and in my own words, Crysalis 
( has the underlying idea that when you 
develop in most MVC frameworks, Struts chief among them, you are actually 
doing something unnatural and in a way at odds with basic OOP design.

Think about a shopping cart example... If you were going to write that in 
straight Java, not for the web or anything, how would you model it?  Most 
likely you would have a ShoppingCart class with a number of methods in it, 
things like addItem(), removeItem(), totalPrice(), etc.

In Struts, although you aren't FORCED to, what you GENERALLY do is create 
three different Action classes like addItemAction, removeItemAction and 
totalPriceAction, and each is called in response to a form submission.

But isn't it kind of odd that your object model isn't following what you 
probably think in your head is the right way, i.e., one class with multiple 
related methods?  Proper encapsulation and all that jazz, right?

Well, Crysalis does just that.  It's controller elements are regular Java 
classes with multiple methods.  What you wind up with is something that 
resembles Remote Procedure Calls instead of numerous servlets as 

In other words, you would create the ShoppingCart object just as I described

above, with all three methods.  Then, when you submit a form, the action is 
something along the lines of "ShoppingCart.addItem.cmd".  ShoppingCart is 
the class to execute, addItem the method and cmd is a suffix to direct the 
request, just like extensions in your Struts apps map requests to 

The elements of the submitted form are treated as the parameters of the 
method being called, making it rather elegant.

I haven't gotten into any real detail on Crysalis, but I was interested in 
getting other peoples' thoughts on the underlying principal (which I *THINK*

I've stated properly!).  It was rather interesting to me because I'd never 
reall considered looking at it that way, and certainly it's not the way you 
typically approach a Struts-based application.  It was also interesting to 
me because I've for about four years now been preaching here at work that we

should write our applications as a collection of services that are executed 
to form a coherent larger application, which is very much along the lines of

this (so I guess I actually HAVE looked at it this way in a sense, but not 

Any thoughts?


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