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From Jonathan Revusky <>
Subject Re: JavaCC open sourced on
Date Fri, 13 Jun 2003 11:39:22 GMT
Daniel Rall wrote:
> I'm excited to report that the development site for Sun's JavaCC
> parser generator is now being served up via Velocity templates (by way
> of CollabNet's SourceCast)!


I don't begrudge you the self-congratulatory tone of the announcement. I 
know that it is very gratifying when other people use your work. On the 
other hand, one infers an undue level of complacency in your camp. If I 
were someone with a significant investment in Velocity, I would find 
this kind of unsettling. The fact remains that no Velocity development 
to speak of has occurred for about a year. You, Daniel, are the last guy 
to have committed any code to the core project.  And that was still 7 
months ago. But actually, I would say that, to all intents and purposes, 
Velocity develoment came to a standstill at least a year ago.

Now, software technology moves fairly quickly. A year is a very long 
time. For example, I can tell you that the competing project that is 
largely my fault (;-)) FreeMarker, has improved dramatically over the 
last year or so. We are now in our 4th major release cycle of the last 
16 months, and each such cycle has added major new features. Come to 
think of it, I wonder: what was the last significant feature added to 
Velocity and when was it added?

Now, certainly, Velocity, due to being a jakarta project, has very good 
placement, and gets a lot of usage out there. It certainly has a huge 
marketing/placement advantage over FreeMarker. It is likely that 
Velocity will continue to have more users than FreeMarker despite 
FreeMarker's cutting edge features.

But then look at JSP. The situation there is night and day. JSP has a 
huge placement advantage over Velocity and JSP has been improving a lot 
too. There is JSTL and Java server faces, and now a whole bunch of 3rd 
party JSP taglibs are making their appearance -- things like CeWolf and 
SiteMesh and so on --  functionality that JSP users can draw on and are 
not available if you use Velocity. (They are available from FreeMarker 
since we added taglib support, BTW.)

So, it does not make sense to me that you guys are sitting on your 
laurels like this. And certainly, it seems to me quite subjectively that 
traffic on this list (I mean velocity-user) is not what it used to be...

So, while I don't begrudge you the self-congratulatory notes when you 
see a high-profile website using Velocity, I actually think that some 
apocalyptic gloom-and-doom sorts of posts would be more appropriate 
objectively. At least if they served to rally the troops. Complacency 
does not seem to be indicated. Not in this sector -- nosirrr.

Or really, cutting to the chase: Do you guys have any plans for future 
development of Velocity?

> The happy irony is that Velocity is built on top of a JavaCC-generated
> parser.  Gotta love that synergy.

Well, FreeMarker also uses a JavaCC-generated parser. I was quite 
interested to learn that JavaCC is now open-sourced. I learned of this 
from your post. Thank you for that.

Best Regards,

Jonathan Revusky
lead developer, FreeMarker project,
FreeMarker 2.3pre4 is out!

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