Nathan,

You make some good comments. After using Struts for the better
part of a year, I am confident that it strikes a good balance between
function and complexity. When you use Struts, you are saying that
you want the Struts action Servlet to handle the plumbing between
HTTP requests and your Java Beans. It is a lot like using DDS in
an RPG program rather than calling the Dynamic Screen APIs.

As far as being to strict, we had some things we wanted to do
differently (store messages for the display) and simply extended
the Struts Class that provides that support. There are lots of hooks
built in so you have quite a bit of control over what you do. The
only limitation I ran into was related more to the HTTP protocol than
Struts. In that case I wanted to be able to redirect to a JSP page
without changing the URL. It may be possible to do that but I haven't
figured out how.

As far as being lightweight, I felt pretty productive after about three

months. And after about 8 months I am still learning but I feel I know

what to do in most cases. A lot of my time has been spent building
prototypes for our group. I think those prototypes helped them pick
up on Stuts more quickly. Overall, I think Struts is pretty close to
the
complexity of DDS and all of its options. In addition to Struts a good

working knowledge of Java, HTTP, JSP, and Servlets is helpful.

I guess I covered this, but Struts is a Servlet and builds on the
Servlet
and JSP architectures from Sun. So you are right there is a lot of
overlap. One of the chief architects of Struts works for Sun and is
also one of Tomcat's chief architects. In general building a system
with EJBs is much more complex. Some tasks are simplified, but the
overall structure is much harder to develop.

David Morris

>>> nandelin@relational-data.com 01/05/02 11:09AM >>>
From: "David Morris" <David.Morris@plumcreek.com>
> To add to Joe's comments, a lot of the infrastructure is done
> if you are working in a Sevlet environment. We use an open-source
> framework called Struts (http://jakarta.apache.org/struts).

The Struts link branches to a large number of resources.  I reviewed
the
FAQ, user's guide, java docs, and followed several of the resource
links.

> Struts helps to enforce what Joe is talking about. Struts is
designed
> to supply a Model - View - Controller (MVC).

Although I firmly believe in dividing interactive applications into
model,
view, and controller components, I'm a little distrustful of frameworks
that
"enforce" it.  The interfaces supplied to enforce a particular design
often
translate to unforseen restrictions in the implentation of a
application
function.  Have you run into that problem with Struts?

> Overall, Struts is lightweight. If you need something more
inclusive,
> Expresso would be a good bet. Beyond this, you get into EJBs,
> which simplify some operations, but complicate the overall design.

There seems to be a huge difference between what ILE programmers and
Java
programmers consider to be "lightweight".  I think I counted 185
classes in
the java doc.  Most classes exposed numerous constructors, properties,
and
methods.  I'd consider Struts to be a "huge" framework.

It looked like there was a great deal of overlap between Struts and
the
servlet, JSP, EJB framework already defined by Sun.  How do you decide
when
to use a Struts class vs. a standard Java class?

Nathan M. Andelin
www.relational-data.com



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