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so, why Stripes?

Paul Yule
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 229
First and foremost, I would like to bring up the fact that I'm completely ignorant of this framework altogether. I'm no guru (which easily explains why I've never heard of it before) but...even so, if you'll permit me, I would still like to discuss the biggest concern I have.

I've never heard of this framework. Regardless of whether or not this is merely an indication that I just don't roll in the right circles I still have to go through the associated learning curve from square one. My previous experience has been with frameworks an often over promised and under delivered scenario.

By the time developers wade through the plethora of poorly written information on how to simply set it up(as the developers of said framework have been busy making said framework they've forgotten to write the documentation), fuddle through complex configuration files, or find a tutorial targetted with their particular need you wonder where the R.O.I. went.

Is your book the only sound resource out there for this framework? When there is a nuance or update not available in the book do I need to have a developer get it working frustratingly, without direction, via trial and error? Before we begin with the book...what exactly does Stripes offer that isn't currently available, with which notably the learning curve can be (atleast partially) avoided.

Lastly, in my experience, I often find developers willing to sell me on software without a wholesale picture of the problem I have one more question...is there an instance where you would recommend a different framework than Stripes? Or is it really all that and a bag of potato chips. Make me a believer,

Paul
[ November 18, 2008: Message edited by: Paul Yule ]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Paul, in answering your concerns/questions I'm likely to bong with the author on some points. So expect some duplicate answers here but since most of this isn't about the book specifically I feel like I can answer most of your questions.

By the time developers wade through the plethora of poorly written information on how to simply set it up(as the developers of said framework have been busy making said framework they've forgotten to write the documentation), fuddle through complex configuration files, or find a tutorial targetted with their particular need you wonder where the R.O.I. went.


I can totally empathize with you on this so let me state some key points specifically targeting your concern here.

First there is a Quickstart App written by Freddy to get you started as quickly as possible with Stripes. If you have a JDK and Ant installed you don't need anything else but to download the quickstart zip file and execute the build.xml file as stated in the link.

If you head on over to the Stripes homepage you'll see a slew of documentation including a Quickstart Guide. This is different from the first link I sent as the guide takes you through what to download and how to configure stripes where the quickstart app does this for you.

That said, configuring Stripes, even by hand, is IMHO easier than any other framework out there. The only XML you need is in web.xml. Everything else in Stripes is done in code and by a handful of simple annotations. There's no stripes-config.xml or some arbituary set of config files to specify navigation or URL binding. It's all done in Java code and mostly by convention.

The mailing list is quite active and the devs are all there answering questions. The IRC channel currently has 17 people online and the devs are there too.

Before we begin with the book...what exactly does Stripes offer that isn't currently available, with which notably the beginning learning curve can be totally avoided.


If you had asked this question a year ago I could have given you a huge list. Thanks to open source a lot of the existing frameworks have taken ideas from Stripes and incorporated them into their own. I'd argue none as simply though. Stripes just works! It works because it doesn't try and do everything. Stripes is not a full stack framework like Grails. It does MVC and it does it better than any framework out there, IMHO. If you are looking for a full stack framework then Stripes probably isn't your bag. But if you like to pick and choose each aspect of your development tool set I don't think anyone can go wrong with Stripes.

is there an instance where you would recommend a different framework than Stripes? Or is it really all that and a bag of potato chips. Make me a believer,


As I said Stripes isn't full stack. So if that is what you are looking for Grails might be a better option. Stripes is also an action based framework ala Struts and SpringMVC. If you would prefer a component oriented framework then Wicket might be your best bet.

There are a lot of framework flame wars on the Internet and I'd rather not have one here but a lot of people talk about choosing the right tool for the right job. I've had many opportunities to choose something other than Stripes but Stripes hasn't let me down yet. I've built web applications for some large companies including Adidas, Vanguard, and Ford all using Stripes.


GenRocket - A Test Data Generation Platform
Frederic Daoud
author
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Joined: May 22, 2008
Posts: 71
Paul, as you can see, Gregg has enumerated some very interesting points about Stripes. What I'd like to add is my own professional experience, where our development team was using JSF and we were having many problems getting things to work correctly. This was not due to a lack of knowledge; rather, JSF was just not a good fit for our project.

We switched to Stripes, and we were able to get things working much more easily. The code base reduced by about 40%, and the time required to implement features decreased dramatically.

No one on our team besides myself knew of Stripes, yet everyone was able to get up to speed without problem. I think this speaks volumes on the simplicity of Stripes. At the same time, Stripes is very powerful; simplicity does not mean that you can't implement some very sophisticated features. What I love about Stripes is that I'm confident that it will not get in my way when I must implement a feature that is "outside the box".

Bottom line is that I think you should have a good look at Stripes, you won't be disappointed


Frederic Daoud
Author, Stripes...and Java Web Development is Fun Again
Stripes book
Paul Yule
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 229
Thanks for the enlightining responses. I have some incredibly simple apps at home I'll give it a go on. From a 40,000 foot view I can't comprehend how it works without a single additional xml file and with that I have my doubts that it is as easy as you say it is.

Does the book make any assumptions as to the degree of expertise with other technologies? XML, ANT, etc... Would I be able to do anything in the book knowing the ins and outs of jsp's/servlets and absolutely nothing more? If not are these building blocks explained in the book?
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Originally posted by Paul Yule:
From a 40,000 foot view I can't comprehend how it works without a single additional xml file and with that I have my doubts that it is as easy as you say it is.


That's an interesting statement. I usually hear it the other way around. Too much XML configuration and things get overly complicated. Jumping from this file to that file to another file just to wire up a simple action. I have no doubts you will have your "Wow!" moment just like every other Stripes user.
Paul Yule
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 229
Believe me, i'm completely unbiased to any technology. From my stand point at some point in time all technology was created for a reason (generally a good one). My primary focus for a framework at the moment is ease-of-use and I haven't been impressed in past experience.

My fear is that without the additional xml configurations the build processes or something are going to have to change to accomodate the framework.

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
I have no doubts you will have your "Wow!" moment just like every other Stripes user.

Haha, let's hope so...although it's fair to say I'm a bit of a pessimest
[ November 18, 2008: Message edited by: Paul Yule ]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Originally posted by Paul Yule:
My fear is that without the additional xml configurations the build processes or something are going to have to change to accomodate the framework.


Well, keep in mind that Stripes doesn't force your build strategy. If your build config can compile source code and create a WAR file then you will have no problems.
Frederic Daoud
author
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Joined: May 22, 2008
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Paul Yule:
Does the book make any assumptions as to the degree of expertise with other technologies? XML, ANT, etc... Would I be able to do anything in the book knowing the ins and outs of jsp's/servlets and absolutely nothing more? If not are these building blocks explained in the book?


In the book, I assume that you know the basics of Java web development: how to compile Java code, create a web application, deploy a WAR file to a servlet container. You should also be familiar with JSPs and the Expression Language (EL). Having Ant installed will help working with the sample code, but it's not absolutely required.

In short, it sounds like you have all the requirements needed to get the most out of the book.
Paul Yule
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 229
In a different post but I thought it had merit here since it was basically my biggest gripe with "the way" it has been in my experience.

Originally posted by Will Hartung:
c) incremental complexity. You can go very far with more base Stripes knowledge. ... There's no huge wall you all of sudden have to cross to do that "just one more thing".


not making the simple, simple has been my biggest challenge for advocacy of any one particular framework. Apparently, I really should look at Stripes one of these days, sigh.
Frederic Daoud
author
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Joined: May 22, 2008
Posts: 71
Originally posted by Paul Yule:
In a different post but I thought it had merit here since it was basically my biggest gripe with "the way" it has been in my experience.



not making the simple, simple has been my biggest challenge for advocacy of any one particular framework. Apparently, I really should look at Stripes one of these days, sigh.


No time like the present!
Paul Yule
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Joined: May 12, 2008
Posts: 229
Originally posted by Frederic Daoud:


No time like the present!


touche, but then what would I have to complain about?
Zabe Agha
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 27, 2003
Posts: 19
Paul -- Did you ever download Stripes and give it a shot? What was your experience?

An inquiring mind thinking about treading into Stripes territory wants to know.
Amit Ghorpade
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Joined: Jun 06, 2007
Posts: 2712
    
    5

"Agha" please check your private messages for an important administrative matter. You can see them by clicking the My Private Messages link above.


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