I've been lurking on this list for several years, and not speaking about
things I'm not contributing to.

But Andy's comment here about EJB & J2EE goes right to the point, and
triggers my passion ...

As an architect, I've been in 5 projects in the last 2.5 years where EJBs
were on the table, and in every case but one there have been overwhelming
reasons to avoid getting involved with that kind of technology. And in the
remaining case, it was already live when I came on board but thankfully the
designer had not used Entity Beans, which made it almost tolerable.

In the last project (a major customer-care callcenter app), they had used
Entity Beans, and Websphere, and there were 500 EJBs, and 4700 distinct
application classes. It took 2 days of continuous processing just to
'deploy' the beans, and I was called in when they found they couldn't meet
adequate performance. Related, of course to the modelling of the database
through Entity Beans. I won't go into the details, but believe me there were
big problems in just about every area I looked at, not least developer
productivity with the toolsets.

My advice was unreservedly to junk both EJB and Websphere, since any
competent designer could implement a solution with about a tenth of the
complexity involved, and with no need for these opaque tools that you can't

Yes, EJB is a complete bodge of a design, and RPC invocation techniques
would only be acceptable if they were completely transparent, instead of
requiring you to do so much plumbing yourself. But personally, I think RPC
is entirely overrated, and it is a mistake to try to program as though a
remote call had the same characteristics as a local one.

The Pointy Haired Management are influenced by other views of the
marketplace, of course, but they don't really make any sense if you can see
where technology like this is likely to end up in the longer term. (i.e.
replaced by something better).

The rest of J2EE ? Well, Servlets is great, JSP is just about OK, (but of
course you really wanted a templating engine). And among the rest of the
APIs, there seem to be some that are OK, but an awful lot of it is pretty
mediocre. Overall, it is Java *not* living up to its early promise.

In summary, after a couple of years wondering 'Why am I the only person to
see this ?' it's a relief to see Andy's post.

I also remember seeing Jon's comment 'WAKE UP PEOPLE' a few weeks back
(before Outlook trashed my mailbase) and though I think he is commenting on
Sun's military strategy rather than the technicalities of EJB (am I right
there ?) I do think that we need a much more public protest about the
weakness of the technologies on offer - too many companies are forcing
developers down the J2EE path. DotNet doesn't have to be the winner from
such a protest, either.

There are much better ways to do things, and at present customised solutions
win hands-down on every count except 'common culture'.

I know this is not much Jakarta related (unless Jakarta can take on J2EE
directly ?), but it does seem a very important issue in the context of
server-side Java.

How much support exists for this point of view ? Does anyone have pointers
for areas where rational discontent is brewing in a less 'humble' form ?

- Tim

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew C. Oliver <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: 31 January 2002 01:58
Subject: Re: [Fwd: cvs commit: jakarta-site2/xdocs index.xml]

> On Wed, 2002-01-30 at 19:54, Jon Scott Stevens wrote:
> > on 2002.1.30 4:15 PM, "Andrew C. Oliver" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >
> > > My only issue and I guess this is directed more at you Jon, is it
> > > doesn't give me a clear idea about "what we want".  Can you give me a
> > > good idea and I'll be glad to submit a patch to that effect.  It just
> > > seems like we should be asking for something and being specific.
> > >
> > > -Andy
> >
> > That is a very good point. However, privately, Sun knows exactly what we
> > want.
> >
> > There is still some stuff that goes on behind the scenes around here
> > unfortunately isn't exposed. Needless to say, discussions about opening
> > of that up (including posting what we want to the public site) are going
> > now.
> >
> For starters:
> I think the J2EE stuff should be under at least the same license as the
> rest of the JDK.
> Personally I'm having a hard time getting particularly in uproar as I
> think the central core of J2EE - Enterprise Java Beans is such a poor
> standard, that I'm not particularly upset that its not *free*.  I should
> not say these things publicly, as I still have to work in these things,
> but in truth EJB and particularly Entity beans is a less that elegant
> kludge.
> In truth J2EE is kind of a scam.  It claims to be aiming for
> compatibility and universality but the truth is the vendors play too big
> of a role in it.  They want to have lots of room for proprietary
> extensions.  Its market one thing but actually sell another.
> I'd rather see someone come up with an opensource standard that achieves
> the goals of EJBs without being limited by its faulty design and
> backward compatibility with its original faultier design.  Just my
> humble opinion on that.
> > This is fun.
> >
> > p.s. The spec lead for JSR107 had a nice response to my complaints about
> > license issues for that JSR. It went something like this:
> >
> > > As for the license, I can find no mention of Oracle requesting any
> > > for anything.  I seriously doubt if this license is significantly
> > > different than licenses for JSP's sponsored by other companies.
> >
> > Uh. Yea. Whatever dude.
> >
> Right.  Why request money now?  I'll have to look at the JSR.
> > -jon

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