Lightweight

For a non native English writer it is hard to spell this word right. But that is not the primary reason I have come to dislike this word. Lightweight is the most devaluated word of the Java community.

I agree that a full J2EE architecture is and was for most applications over the top. For most people working with the framework it was too difficult to use properly. So something less bulky and simpler was needed. That void was filled quicly by a series of application frameworks and technologies. Hibernate, iBatis, JDO, Webflow, Spring to name a few. Unfortunately all of these technologies have a hefty learning curve and a lot of things that do not work so well.

As an example: Spring 2.0 has new and extended AOP capabilities. However they are difficult to understand and configure. So they require experience, insight and a lot of self reflection to be used in an effective way. I would not recommend this for your average environment or application. So the circle closes and what started out as lightweight has become heavy again.

Question of the day: has this article anyhting to do with lightweight as the title suggest?

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One Response to “Lightweight”

  1. Mark Platvoet Says:

    I agree that the term ‘lightweight’ has been devaluated, but I don’t think the circle is round though.

    I think a framework is ‘heavy’ if it forces you to use the full monty for even the simpliest tasks, such as EJB 2.0. A framework should, ideally, offer a solution to a common problem without having you to rewrite your entire application. The frameworks you sum up (jdo excluded) live up to that promise, they don’t invade.

    Spring doesn’t force you to use AOP, it’s simply there. And that is what lightweight is to me: “you simply don’t have to.”

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