Monday, 9 June 2008

This time last year...

Well as a recent member of 30s club I decided to compare few things with last year. This time last year I was just starting a new project and a new colleague was insisting on using wicket. We have just finished the JSF projects so everybody in the team was quite familiar with that technology. I was personally very interested in Flex which was version 2 by that time.
That time Wicket has just been moved to Apache and in incubating period.
By that time last year my impressions about JSF, Wicket and Flex were;

2007
JSF is outdated, we must leave it behind and evolve. Ajax and Javascript sucks. I am very keen on trying any technology which will replace Javascript. Meanwhile Netbeans offering nice tools for JSF but i can't even imagine replacing Eclipse. GWT can be a nice alternative.
Wicket is nice, you code and debug in native java platform. The Java and Html code is totaly seperated but still not easy to make a designer and developer work seperately. The learning curve is not so easy eventough it is just plain java code. Although wicket has embedded Javascript features, you still need to code javascript which caused our project not to run on firefox in just the begining of the development. Since wicket is under apache now i think their future is bright.
Flex is fantastic but for a year I have been waiting them to make a leap which they couldn't. I am so afraid that developers are so afraid to leave html behind and work in the flash runtime. News about Flex 3 is everywhere. I believe learning curve is very easy and since Flex builder is just a plugin for Eclipse, it feels so comfortable to code.

2008
JSF is still popular Developers are so experienced about JSF. Sun is making a god progress and version 2 early access is available. My toughts about JSF is changed a lot. I believe it is still a good choice since people are so experienced and JSF and its tools become so mature. New vesion of Netbeansagain offering nice features but still i can't imagine to migrate to Netbeans from Eclipse. We are all waiting for weblets. Several application servers are now JavaEE 5 compatible which indirectly makes JSF stronger. Well my new project will be on JSF, I will miss Flex a lot but corporations still prefer JSF.
Wicket is a disappoinment. One year passed and i don't see any progress, I haven't seen any big projects developed over Wicket and people are concerned about future of wicket. My ex-collagues (all are flex developers) who are joining to my old project doesn't want to lern and use wicket. After flex developers don't find wicket fun, the output is plain, javascript is still on the stage and JSF is much mature and developers are more experinced on it.
Flex is version 3 for over 4 months which was not a major release but still very fun to use. Licence prices of the builder dropped. BlazeDS which is a subset of LiveServices is now open sourced. We had completed 2 successful projects with Flex and the one which is (70% wicket, rest flex) still struggling. The team is quite experinced with Flex now and Flex at last made the leap i was expecting long ago. Version 4 news hits on blogs and the new features are amazing. Everything is really on the way on flex side.

Well when I look back I see my views changed so dramatically so I am not sure what will this year bring. Last month we had a presentation and workshop on Flex with Java backend in which everything went so smooth and we could finish a project from strach. Well next week I will be in caves of JSF again so now I am watching the news of JSF 2.0 with more caution.

As i said before by today now I am officially a member of 30s club, am i considered to be a wise and aged programmer? :)