Dion wants to see an AppFuse Startup Video like Mike Clark's CruiseControl Action Movie. While this sounds like a good idea, I think I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I created it. Why? Because then more folks would start to use AppFuse, and hence, I'd have to answer a lot more e-mails on the mailing list. Being a top-ranked project on java.net doesn't help. You might think that there's a lot of issues with AppFuse, and that's why the mail traffic is so high, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Most questions seem to be along the lines of "Why did you do this?", "What do you think about adding X technology?" or "My Hibernate relationships don't work."
Few of the issues relate to AppFuse directly (i.e. build file and directory structure), but many of them relate to the technologies it depends on. Good HowTos should lead to a lot less Hibernate questions, and I hope to work on that before the next release. As far as the other questions, I need to add some links from the FAQ to the mail archives so I can quite repeating myself. I think a lot of the mail traffic is just an indication of a successful open-source project. In other words, when you get popular - you have little time to develop anymore. I probably spend 1-2 hours per day just answering AppFuse e-mails.
Another unfortunate side-effect of this is that there seems to be a lot of newbies. When AppFuse was first released in April 2003, it seemed that only experienced, smart developers used it. Maybe this was because there wasn't any documentation (besides Pro JSP and Java Development with Ant, which explains the entire build.xml file), so folks had to really understand the dependent technologies to use AppFuse. Now there's questions about the basics of different frameworks. In most cases, I'd like to respond to a link to the framework's documentation - but sometimes the documentation just isn't there. I guess that's why frameworks like Ruby on Rails succeed - all the dependencies are part of the framework. If I tried to do that in the Java Community, it'd be project suicide. I'd spend all day answering questions like, "Why aren't you using Hibernate?", "Why Not Spring/JSF/Struts, etc." Furthermore, I'm not as smart as the framework developers, so it'd simply never happen.
But I digress. What's in it for me if I create an AppFuse Startup Video? I can see what's in it for Mike - his video is about a project he doesn't support (AFAIK) and the video should lead to more book sales. I suppose I could try and hook users that AppFuse is explained in Spring Live, but that's not really the case. Maybe I should just do an Equinox Startup Video.