News: Tech Talk with Mike Cannon-Brookes on OpenSymphony, JavaBlogs

  1. In this interview, Mike talks about the OpenSymphony group, why it was started, and how it's different from Jakarta. He looks at what's new in WebWork2, the benefits of using SiteMesh, and describes the various technologies used by JavaBlogs such as Velocity, Quartz, OSUser, and GLUE. He also comments on competing, commercial and open source products and how this competition fuels innovation.

    Watch Mike Cannon-Brookes' Interview
  2. Sitemesh vs Tiles observations[ Go to top ]

    Difference between Sitemesh and Tiles?

    There are a couple of differences that I see:

    1) The first one is that Sitemesh is filter based - so you can apply a decorator to a set of pages with just one declaration. You can map different decorations to different url patterns.

    Tiles, IMO is a little clumsier for most web applications - where most applications tend to have many pages and few (different) decorations.
    With tiles, you have to declare the decoration (in terms of an extension of a default tile) FOR EACH view/page. This is a lot of repetition

    2) The other difference is in implementation.
    Tiles is based on JSP fragments - which are included before and after the undecorated content. This makes it more difficult to see the decoration as a whole.

    Sitemesh is a single JSP page - with a <decorator:body/> tag to tell it where to insert the content of the undecorated page. IMO it makes for simpler comprehension and development of the decorator.

  3. Online pages say that the current version is 2.0, but the download
    page only has version 1.5 dated 2002-06-24. Please fix.
  4. SM 2.0 will be released soon - it's been stable in CVS for ages (months) and is in use with a lot of production projects. That said, I know that's the traditional 'open source excuse' and I generally dislike 'look in CVS' - so we'll make a release soon, very soon :)

    Also if you want more information, Patrick Lightbody, Joe Walnes, Ara Abrahamian and I have recently written a book about all these technologies (with a good smattering of techniques like TDD, mock objects, inversion of control etc) which will be released at the end of this month:


  5. I've been a long-time user of Open Symphony software - sitemesh, oscache, and webwork when they picked that up (and now, of course, webwork2). If you haven't tried their stuff - I would highly recommend doing so. I am definitely looking forward to the "real" release of sitemesh 2.0 (not to mention webwork2!).