Tuesday, December 30, 2008

stuff change on you...

I am sure at some point in time we all make a judgment call to go with a piece of software based on its merits. The criteria for what constitutes a merit differs from one individual to another. We come up with a set of criteria and a set of softwares to choose from. We subject the software to the criteria and make a call. All well and good.

If for some reason the software we choose is the choice of many others in our 'sphere of interest' we have a hit. And if we are an outlier, we end up in one of two scenarios.

1. Either we really have made a good choice and the market around has to 'see' the light and catch on, or
2. We really missed the mark and we have to re-analyze our choice and 'catch-up' with the rest.

Of course, the realization of 'hitting the mark' itself is relative. I'm sure there are some die hard fans of EJB2 who will still say that Hibernate and other ORM's have not got it.

So, what would you say, a person trying to make a call between EJB2 and Hibernate?

One can't say for sure. Hear this argument.

Joe: It does not matter what features EJB2 and Hibernate have, our company policy is not to use open source products. All products have to comply with industry standards.

Mark: But what is 'industry standard'. Isn't it what the 'industry' accepts as a standard.. meaning us, developers/architects. If we say Hibernate is a better choice, so it is a standard.

Joe: Possibly, but our policy writers do not see it like that. If it does not come from the Suns, IBMs, Xs or Ys, its not a standard.

Mark: but..

So, you see, Joe and Mark agree. But still have to disagree due to the criteria used for making a choice.

Then there are re-incarnations.

Remember when you looked at JSF when the world was going with Struts and its sisters. Its too dotnet. Its too component oriented. Its not MVC enough. Its this and its not that. The 'sphere of interest' goes with Struts, Webworks, SpringMVC etc. etc. And then JSF comes with a re-incarnation. It has the blessing of the big names Joe was looking for. It has the blessing of 'us, developers/architects' in open source implementations of JSF that Mark was looking for.

So, what would you say, a person who made the choice of JSF at a time when it did not make the cut.. and stuck with it. Is it because that person 'saw' the promise and potential and had the foresight of its success? Or is it just that the person gambled with it and it paid out?

Its the similar story with EJB in its new EJB3 re-incarnation.

Then there is stuff that changes on you.

How often do you make a choice of software with due diligence. Even the 'sphere of interest' is with you. Things are going fine.. You bet your projects and your raise on it. And then it hits you. The people responsible for your choice software bail out on you. The product is no longer supported.

Recently I was looking for a tag library to use jfreecharts.. Cewolf was the number one choice. Even documented and recommended by jfreechart folks.. But its not supported anymore.

Would you use it in your project? (on a side note, I'm writing my own now.)

Another case in point is Appfuse. I have used it multiple times.. with JSF and SpringMVC. Every time I have to use Appfuse, I've to make a call, which MVC framework to use. And to be frank, I had gotten to like SpringMVC. But it seems appfuse may drop support for springMVC. (http://raibledesigns.com/rd/entry/appfuse_light_converted_to_maven). I hope I read it wrong.

So, what would you say, a person who made a choice of SpringMVC with Appfuse, and then the folks at Appfuse possibly dropping SpringMVC support?

One could say, 'Its a price for getting stuff free.'.
Or one could say, 'Get a life.. what else do you expect. It is the hazard of the landscape.'
Or as Arnold would say, 'Stop whining.'

I say, Is it even something one should feel averse to? Is it something that is not good for you? Isn't change supposed to be good?

Yes, sometimes you change your choice, sometimes the 'sphere of interest' changes its choices and sometimes someone else changes your choice. Its an opportunity.

Its an opportunity to learn something new. Its an opportunity to make yourself adapt.. and be agile.

Yes, a root canal at a dentist's office hurts.. but its good for you.