Yesterday, I did some more refactoring on AppFuse and got rid of Struts in AppFuse's services layer. Basically, I was using business delegates (a.k.a. Managers) to convert POJOs -> ActionForms and vise versa. So now the question is - why do I even need Managers and why don't I just talk directly to DAOs (as most sample webapps do)? I think the best justification is that Managers can be used by rich client apps and it abstracts the DAO implementation a bit more.
The question is - is there any point to using Managers in a webapps that will always be webapps (no rich client)? To be honest, probably not - but it does make for easy testing of the business logic. The main reason I did a Struts-purge is to get ready for adding other MVC options - most of which allow me to use POJOs in my view. I'm looking forward to adding Spring and WebWork support and I'm willing to bet these solutions will be a bit cleaner. Unfortunately, neither of these frameworks offer client-side validation support, but the good news is it's coming.
The best part about yesterday's refactoring? I ended up deleting more code than I added - which is always a good thing.