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if we are going back to simple servlets?

From a friend’s email about Spring Webflow:

I determined that it would be difficult to integrate client-side behavior with webflow, which seemed tied to the concept of a server round-trip being a common operation to move from page-to-page in a traditional webapp.

After some thought, I realized that since we wanted to move to a Ajax-type paradigm, where round-trips to the server are the exception and not the norm, it would not be a good fit.

We did decide to use SpringMVC as the core web framework of choice, however. It was very customizable, and works well for validation on the server-side, and form submissions where its validation, request-binding-to-command-object and error handling allow us to achieve cool things whether the request was AJAX/XMLHttp or old-style plain HTTP. (POHTTP??)

Also, alot of the flow they were talking about we can now implement with cool Javascript objects on the client-side, without the need to visit the server (e.g. wizards with multiple forms).

I am looking at my own application and I am kind of on the fence. Check out the dojotoolkit. The latest version has this concept of templates. Basically sample html+css templates can be used to create the entire page programatically. very cool. And it leaves me wondering if any page generation on the server-side makes sense any more.

I ask this question at javaone and the only reason I got back was that for users who are using browsers for the sight-impaired would have problems on the website.

But taking that aside, I am really leaning toward simple servlets that deliver/receive nothing but JSON objects. This would allow for those same servlets to be hook to something other than a browser.

So no Tapestry, JSF, or SpringMVC….

This really becomes back to the future of client-server.

I spent the last 12 hours working through some issues with dojotoolkit but I think I got them worked out enough that I can do up my app with it. I will let you know how it goes.

Posted in technical.


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