I was asked to use shale framework for writing some test cases but soon I realized that it not only lacks proper documentation but also nothing much is being done on it. So it is becoming very difficult for me to grab its core idea. Being a newbie I am not able to grasp that what is the need of shale framework? I also posted[LInk to post] a question on how to use it to make good test cases but may be this is the right place where I should post all my questions related to it.
You asked for the need of shale. From the Struts2 FAQ (http://struts.apache.org/roadmap.html#roots): "There were several proposals for a new Struts 2 codebase. The first formal proposal was Jericho, followed by Shale, and then Ti. Jericho never progressed past the trial balloon stage. Shale is based on JavaServer Faces, and, when the time came, the Apache Struts PMC found that many of us were not ready to adopt JSF just yet. Initially, Shale was a Struts subproject, but later Shale graduated to its own top-level ASF project. "