Archive for September 28, 2011

Seam 3 – What’s going on

Hi all!

I’ve been blogging about Seam and specially Seam 3 since a few months ago. Recently, new [and big] changes were proposed and commented at IRC channels and at this post (by Shane).

Well, I really didn’t have time to absorb everything, but I’m writing this post to report some thoughts from Seam user’s community who have showed me their opinions.

Contextualizing

Seam 3 – The Good points

Seam 3 is pretty different from Seam 2. First, the idea of MODULE is pretty awesome, it allows flexibility, freedom for developing new ideas, Maven integration (yes, was pretty hard with Seam 2); also allows new contributors have more space for implementing their ideas and so on.

Seam 3 – the main problems

I’ve been saying this since I started using Seam 3 – it has several problems. There are few examples (and the existing ones are too simple – and part of that is my fault, I really should have published more posts and tutorials), there are no books about it. Another big problem – Seam is not that simple to use – you need a big skill set to start (JEE – CDI, JSF; Maven; controlling an app server and so on); it’s not like Rails (even if you don’t know Ruby or Active record pattern, or MVC, it IS possible to get something working with Rails, even if your code gets really bad). This not happens to Seam.

Another problem reported by community – what’s Seam goal? I mean, look at Hibernate – it has a main propose – ORM. And Seam 3? Is it CDI? People ask me “Ok, I like Seam 3 modules, but what’s the main goal? For example, I use Seam Social module, but is it really related to CDI?”

These problems have created an awkward situation for developers. Lots of ppl don’t feel comfortable to adopt Seam 3 for production; this scenery  prints an image of unstable or immature framework, which I can say that is completely FALSE. Seam 3 has lots of nice features and solves several problems in an easy way. Unfortunately, I think it’s pretty hard to use; so it scares new JEE users.

Seam 3 – the new proposals

In Shane’s words, due to Seam 3 focus problem – “instead of Seam trying to capture all of the CDI extensions in one place, like Pokemon, we should be trying to propagate them throughout the greater developer community instead.” – and them were presented some changes, like moving Seam persistence, REST and faces modules to other Jboss projects.

Well, community showed their concerns about it (sending me some emails and tweets). Next, a little summary about what ppl said: (ATTENTION – THIS IS NOT MY PERSONAL OPINION)
1. Why did the guys decided it? It was a big change from Seam 2 to 3, and community is not ready for a change like that yet.
2. Ppl don’t believe in compatibility. Some developers already have Seam 3 in production systems and they are really worried about it.
3. “WHY RICHFACES?? I USE PRIMEFACES! SEAM FACES SHOULD NOT BE WITH RICHFACES” (this guy was screaming)
4. “HIBERNATE??” – same guy above
5. “bad shot. The impression that I get is that you are tired of Seam, module leaders are disperse and you are giving up of the project, fitting it into other JBos products”
6. “Seam is gonna die. ok, I’ll start my new project with PlayFMK”
7. “Come on, Red hat should hire more ppl to work with Seam and to write more docs for it, instead killing the project” .
8. “F2F == RIP Seam”
9. Modules created in a not centralized environment, so this generates communication problems and it gets difficult for creating documentation and examples.
10. “WTF??” – Seam new users and ppl that are not directly involved with community contributors or IRC channels.

In my opinion, Seam 3 has some problems (that deserve their own post), but I see good and bad things with the new changes. First, I just think that this approach caused wrong impressions, leading ppl to think the project will die or everyone lost the interest for keeping the project.
I really don’t think Shane, Dan, Pmuir (Pete), Lightguard (Jason), Gastaldi or Lincoln would abort Seam, I mean, I see these guys at IRC channels and I see their passion for the project.
But be careful – how many Open Source projects have you seen that died suddenly? There are lots of dead projects, specially at Ruby Community. Death reasons – LOST their focus, got too complex, few documentation, absence of new features. Unfortunately, Seam 3 has some common problems.
Maybe these new proposed changes help to change this situation, focusing on CDI implementations and joining some correlated modules. But IMHO, it would also weaken Seam identity by merging some parts of it with other projects. I really don’t have a clear idea about the final effects – as I said, there are good and bad parts.

Summary

– Seam is not gonna die.
– Everyone who talked to me got a bad impression about these changes. It clearly wasn’t a good approach.
– These changes have good and bad points.
– Seam 3 need more focus and solid examples.

Seam 3 has an absurd potential and more, wonderful contributors building the framework. The only thing I’d like to ask – no panic. Community, keep using Seam 3! It IS nice and powerful. Contributors – that was not the best approach, but move on and keep showing your passion and tech skills by taking care of the framework.

I feel responsible too, I’ll try to do my best to help with examples and tutorials.

I’ll keep blogging about Seam 🙂

Feel free to contact me if you have doubts 🙂

 

UPDATE

Due to the all this misunderstood, feeling hurts, opposite opinions, doubts and so on, there’s a new post from Shane trying to explain the situation in a better way. As you can see, there’s a thread at Jboss Foum where you can show your opinion about it. Would be nice if you take a few minutes to read, understand the situation and write what you think.

Also, @antoine_sd blogged about it here – very nice post.

 

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September 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm 5 comments


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