Sunday, February 18, 2007

Worthless Practices (IBM's list)

I just saw via InfoQ that IBM maintains a list of Java EE best practices.

Now I've never really been good with bile, but there is just so many things wrong with this list on so many levels. Just listen to the title: "IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal: The top Java EE best practices". A bit of paradoxial, isn't it?

Let's take a quick look through the list and comment on each point:

1. Always use MVC.
Yeah, right. Always use MVC. Remember to design a rigid 3-tier architecture upfront no matter what sort of application you are going to build. Use Struts, right? Right.

2. Don't reinvent the wheel.
Well, duh. Struts, right? Right.
3. Apply automated unit tests and test harnesses at every layer.
I'd actually support this one if I could append "if possible".

4. Develop to the specifications, not the application server.
Well that certainly was a good tooting from the wrong horn, coming from the deranged nit-wits that gave us WSAS and WSAD.

5. Plan for using Java EE security from Day One.
Yes, and build it into your whole application using WebSphere Application Server's Java EE security(tm). There is no better way to tie yourself to your application server than using the embedded access control and security mechanisms.

6. Build what you know.
Well, duh. Struts, right? Right.

7. Always use session facades whenever you use EJB components.
How bout never using EJB components?

8. Use stateless session beans instead of stateful session beans.
Sounds a lot like Struts action thinking to me. Drink you own poison any way you like, EJB suckers.

9. Use container-managed transactions.
Uh. Yeah, using WSAS Transcation Management(tm)!

10. Prefer JSPs as your first choice of presentation technology.
Indeed! Never mind that JSPs is the most designer and developer unfriendly templating language around. I love having to compile my templates into servlets, then loading them into the application server!

11. When using HttpSessions, store only as much state as you need for the current business transaction and no more.
No kidding. I'll try to remember that session actually uses memory somewhere.

12. Take advantage of application server features that do not require your code to be modified.
Wait, isn't this the same as point 4? Except that it binds you to the functionality of an application server and thereby invalidates the point.

13. Play nice within existing environments.
I guess this means that we should use WSAS. Period.

14. Embrace the qualities of service provided by the application server environment.
Really, how much more of this list is going to be about WSAS ball-licking?

15. Embrace Java EE, don't fake it.
And buy our fully Java EE compatible application server today! Seriously, tell this to the thousands of developers who have uneccesarily suffered under EJB's.

16. Plan for version updates.
Yes, there will always come a patch for your WSAS installation. Usually the one that fixes the bug in WSAS which is paining your development. And the techies will tell you they can't install the patch before 6 months.

17. At all points of interest in your code, log your program state using a standard loggingframework.
Yeah.. WSAS logging is just lovely to look at and modify.

18. Always clean up after yourself.
Now this is the point where I really start getting annoyed. How bout you guys cleaning up after yourself? Your company is largely responsible for soddling the development of Java EE into the state it is today!

19. Follow rigorous procedures for development and testing.
Yes, develop and test as rigorously as the application server and the web framework forces you to. Make sure you have a 100 page testing plan that lines up the procedures.



Summary: Buy IBM, use WSAS and use Struts.

Bile being done, the text actually has some good principles and points, but the concrete solutions so provided are a bit too much 2002 for my taste.