Geert Bevin of the RIFE project asks:
Many times I have wondered why people are so reluctant to investigate RIFE. After having asked around a bit, the most recurring critique was that our template syntax is too arcane at the initial glance. Somehow the look of the tags syntax pushes people away without them ever checking out any of the features of our framework.
Ironically, none of the users consider the syntax to be a problem. Many even love how it stands out while still being totally invisible to a browser or an XHTML editor.
Still, initial adoption seems to be all about appearances, so I think this issue needs to be addressed. That's why I'm asking you, the non-rife users which alternate syntax looks best to you. [Read More »]
I'm one of those folks that thinks RIFE's current template syntax is difficult to understand. I was scared away from RIFE for this reason alone. It's good to see them asking the community for a better formula.
There's one thing I've learned from leading an open source project: your users aren't always right. Just because they like the way things are done, it doesn't make it the best way to do it. Often, developers merely like something because they've learned it, and would rather not learn something new. Look at all the folks that prefer Struts, yet have never tried another web framework.
Personally, I like Velocity's variable style, which is now used by JSP 2.0. Most new Java web developers are going to learn JSP. If you can make the transition from JSP to your template syntax easier, you'll likely get more users.