I appreciate your input...I can't remember where I read about there being
something out there to replace JSP's, maybe a newer "flavor" of them?  I
have never heard that JSP's are THE way to go so we looked at several (very
good) alternatives.

We are moving a few hundred (well, maybe a thousand) RPG green screen apps
to the HTML world.  We don't have access to source so we are building the
apps from scratch. We needed a way to make RPG programmers productive
developing HTML apps in the easiest possible way.  We settled on two
technologies, one RPG based and one Java based that both use a "template"
metaphor as the basis for linking screen to DB.  We ended up in two
languages (RPG and Java) because we needed to jump start app development and
RPG was the quickest to market but Java gives us multi-platform
capabilities.  The whole application suite, soup to nuts, is open source as
well so Java also gives us a broader audience to play to. If I would have
had my way, it would have ALL been Java but we have plenty of customers who
run older, underpowered, AS/400 so we needed a way to do "both/and" for a

For Java based apps, IMHO Freemarker is the perfect tool for RPG folks
moving to HTML primarily because the concept is so similar to 5250 app
writing.  Sure, you can create TAGLIB's and tags for JSP (which Freemarker
also supports), and CSS sure can make HTML formatting easier (also supported
by FreeMarker) but I guess you settle in with what "feels" comfortable.
FreeMarker felt comfortable to this 'ol RPG programmer and it was Open

For RPG apps we use Relational Web.  This is an awesome RPG based Web
serving application platform.  It scales very well and allows us to write
complex, server centric apps that would bring a servlet container to it's
knees on an older AS/400 (like a  150).  But it too is a template based
application (though implemented in a completely different way). It uses what
I will call "traditional" 5250 programming metaphors.

I'll admit I am not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to
programming.  I am self taught in RPG, C+, VB and Java so I can't weigh in
on the relative technical merits of each approach.  I just know an easy to
learn approach when I see one and being old and lazy I want the most
productivity in the shortest possible time.

If I have learned anything in the programming world it is that skinning a
cat can be done many ways (no flames from PETA,please).

Pete Helgren
Value Added Software,Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Joe Pluta
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2004 1:15 PM
To: 'Midrange Systems Technical Discussion'
Subject: RE: ** POLL - How many of you are playing with
Java/Websphere/JSP **

> From: Pete Helgren
> But from what I
> hear about "traditional" JSP's, they are quietly taking a back seat to
> other technologies anyway.

I am seeing the exact opposite.  JSP is a robust and growing technology.
By combining JSP and CSS, you can create incredibly powerful and
flexible applications very quickly.  My clients love JSPs, and continue
to implement more and more functionality.

One huge upside is that they can balance their server load among any
platforms they choose.  If you want to run Windows servers as your front
end, you can.  Linux, FreeBSD, no problem.  I have one major client
front-ending a large back-end iSeries with a small dedicated web-serving
iSeries.  Any flavor and combination works with a good design.

And if you're an MVC purist and you don't want to roll your own, you can
use one of the many MVC frameworks such as Struts, JSF, Cocoon,
Tapestry, Echo - the list goes on, and it's really up to you to decide
which best fits your application.

As far as I'm concerned, from a pure user interface standpoint, JSP
Model II (however you choose to implement it) is the best platform, at
least for a browser-based solution.


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