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The i-Technology Right Stuff

Searching for the Twenty Top Software People in the World

 

Craig McClanahan

 

Brief Description: Of Tomcat, Struts, and JSF fame

Further Details:

Craig McClanahan was the original creator of the Struts Framework, and was the co-specification lead for JavaServer Faces 1.0 (JSF).

Struts grew out of a personal need (open source developers often call this scratching your own itch) to support the development of an application that McClanahan was responsible for, prior to joining Sun in 2000. His task was to take a US-centric application to Europe, initially in four languages, and make it available (among other delivery channels) on the Web. At the time, there was lots of discussion about appropriate architectures for on the JSP-INTEREST mailing list at java.sun.com, but there were few available implementations. Therefore, he set out to create an application framework for my own use.

The resulting framework served McClanahan's needs quite well. As it became obvious that his needs were not unique, he began the process of open sourcing this idea of a Web application framework at the Apache Software Foundation. What happened next was nothing short of extraordinary: Struts quickly became the de facto standard web application architecture in the J2EE space.

The number of significant Internet applications built with Struts is substantial, but is dwarfed by the number of intranet applications that use it. Struts is now integrated into nearly all the major app servers and tools, supported by a rich ecosystem of knowledgeable proffesionals and skilled developers, backed by significant documentation in the form of books and articles, and the basis for a large user community centered around the Struts User mailing list. (To subscribe, send an empty message to [email protected]).

After Struts was released, and was beginning to demonstrate its popularity, an increasing number of other frameworks and component implementations were becoming available. While a large amount of innovation occurred, it was difficult to forsee the development of a common standard API for user interface components - one that would enable the creation of a component marketplace where tools vendors could support one component API instead of 50, and where component developers could count on interoperation with many tools instead of one or two. So JavaServer Faces (JSR-127) was introduced - with the goal of solving this problem by providing a common base level API for building user interface components for Web applications, with the specific goals of being both accessible to developers writing applications by hand, but also easy to integrate into tools.

 

JSF 1.0 was released in March 2004, followed by a maintenance release (1.1) in May, and is being rapidly adopted by tools vendors, component writers, and application developers alike.

McClanahan now blogs, often offering comments on Java technologies (especially in the Web tier).

Other SYS-CON stories about Struts and JSF

JavaServer Faces (JSF) vs Struts

"JSF Good!" Says Rick Hightower

Java Opinions: Geary vs Raible on JavaServer Faces (JSF)

JSF: The Ultimate in Flexibility? Or Complexity?

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
Agility Pays 12/09/04 03:34:19 AM EST

There are bound to be glaring omissions in any list. It would have been good to see a few more names from the 17 developers who met in Feb 2001 to discuss problems in software development and who devised the so-called "Agile Manifesto." I see that Martin Fowler is here but what about Kent Beck, Alistair Cockburn, Ron Jeffries, Robert "Uncle bob" Martin, and Dave Thomas - people who have all made substantial contributions to software development?

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