Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Developer and Java Champion. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Angular Mini-Book The Angular Mini-Book is a guide to getting started with Angular. You'll learn how to develop a bare-bones application, test it, and deploy it. Then you'll move on to adding Bootstrap, Angular Material, continuous integration, and authentication.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

RIFE: Which template syntax looks best to you?

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.

Posted in Java at Feb 19 2006, 08:33:00 PM MST 3 Comments

Speaking of template engines, are there any plans to use Velocity or FreeMarker templates instead of JSP in AppFuse? It's actually a project I thought of doing once I have a little free time, creating a version of AppFuse that uses FreeMarker instead of JSP.

I've always preferred FreeMarker to JSP, especially when I'm working with a team of inexperienced programmers - it prevents them from writing scriplets or too much logic in the webpages, and I've found that they learn how to use it effectively in just a few hours, especially when using it in combination with WebWork, which supports it natively.

Regarding FreeMarker vs Velocity - both Hibernate and Webwork have opted to replace Velocity with FreeMarker as their default templating engine. Have you used it? FreeMarker is actually a branch of Velocity. Velocity development was actually dormant for a long while until recently, whereas FreeMarker's development has been active.

Posted by Calen Legaspi on February 20, 2006 at 05:00 AM MST #

Calen - I've definitely thought of it, just never had time to do it. Equinox has Velocity and FreeMarker versions of Spring MVC. It'd be cool to do FreeMarker versions for Spring MVC and WebWork. If you have the time and energy to do either one, we'd love the contribution!

Posted by Matt Raible on February 20, 2006 at 05:20 AM MST #

>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

maybe you can stay in JSP with new template syntax in this case?

Posted by Dmitry on February 21, 2006 at 04:27 PM MST #

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