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From Jonathan Revusky <>
Subject Re: Some questions
Date Wed, 05 Apr 2006 00:51:31 GMT
Mário Lopes wrote:
> Hi.
> First off, a little bit of my background. I've been developing with
> Java for a long time now. None of it was web based development. On
> this field, I've programmed with PHP, .NET, Ruby on Rails, Python,
> etc..
> Now that I'm encharged of developing a Java/JSP/Servlets application I
> had to decide about a framework to ease my life. It had to have a
> strong MVC pattern to enforce organization. So I picked Struts :-)


It is normal that someone in your position would pick Struts, since, at
first blush, it appears to be a kind of "standard". Also, it does have
the clear advantage that there are third-party tools based on Struts and
various books and so on. However, even taking these factors into
account, I think you should really think twice about starting new
development on top of Struts 1.x.

For starters, development on Struts 1.x, a.k.a. Struts Classic, has been
more or less stagnant since about 2002. In the meantime, other web
application frameworks have been actively developed and are much more
advanced in what they offer. At this point, Struts 1.x is significantly
behind the state of the art in its application space. There is no
prospect of this changing. In fact, it will only become increasingly
technically obsolete over time.

All new development that is taking place under the so-called "Struts
umbrella" is either going to be on Struts Action 2 or Struts Shale.
Struts Action 2 is a completely different product, which is really the
rebranding of a competing framework, called Webwork. Shale, OTOH, is
based on a completely different component-based paradigm, since it is
built on the Java Server Faces spec from Sun. The only thing it has in
common with Struts Classic (besides the name) is that the original
author is the same, Craig McClanahan.

I think all of the above is objective information that is not in
dispute. Also, the implications are clear, which is that, starting new
projects with Struts 1.x is a very questionable decision at this stage
of history. It might well make sense for people who already have a
significant intellectual investment in the tool and, for whom, it is a
very comfortable thing they know. However, that does not seem to be your

Well, in closing, my advice would be to spend a bit more time to get
familiar with what is cooking in this java web application space before
settling on your tool set. Have a look at Webwork, and Spring MVC and
maybe other new frameworks such as Stripes. (The case of Webwork is kind
of special, since Struts Action 2, the next generation Struts action
framework, actually *is* Webwork!) In any case, I put it to you that the
extra time invested in researching your toolset will be made up many
times over down the road.

Best Regards,

Jonathan Revusky
lead developer, FreeMarker project,

> Now that I've given it a test drive, some questions arose:
> 1) I tried using Eclipse, as I've always did, for developing. What IDE
> do you suggest?
> 2) I noticed that each time I did a simple change I had to build with
> ant to package a .war and then restart Tomcat to recognize it. Tomcat
> takes 20 secs to load which is absolutely unbearable. Is there a more
> agile way of doing things?
> 3) Is MyEclipse worth it?
> I think this is it.. for now :-) I'll be forever in debt for your kind replies.
> Regards,
> Mário Lopes

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