If your interested, no, I could not think of a better title.
Since the late summer of 2003, I’ve been working on a side project. It wasn’t much, simply an apartment rental application. The main features were:
- Allow a renter/seeker to search for apartments.
- Allow a manager of a complex to update apartment postings.
- Allow an administrator to update apartment postings, and update users of the system.
Well, it seemed simple enough, so I thought â€œwhy would this take more than couple of months?â€ Well, I was cocky, overconfident, shortsighted and most importantly, wrong.
I initially projected a demoable version of the application in six months. Yeah, that’s nice. So a year passes, and in comparison to what I had projected, I had actually only completed a fraction. Almost two years later, and I’m just finishing up. Oh yeah, and when I say finishing up, I mean finishing a drastically reduced in scope version. How reduced in scope? Very. For example, there’s no more renter/seeker version of the application. Yeah, and I also removed the manager section. I mean, who needs managers. In the end, I have a really robust Admin section. 😐
Ok, now for something positive: I learned a ton. I started out using JBoss, and Jason C. suggests I try Resin. Not sure if it’s because of some bias, but Resin turned out to be much faster, and easier to deploy using Ant. For the persistence layer, I was using hand written JDBC DAOs to talk to my MySQL database. Jason suggested Hibernate; it was a great move. For the presentation layer, I was using Webwork/XWork, Sitemesh and DisplayTag. Since Jason is a leading member of WebWork, I didn’t hear much about â€œtry thisâ€ or â€œtry thatâ€ other web framework. Actually, I’ve been a WebWork user for a while, so I was pretty aware of what it could do. I was putting most of my business logic in the Actions, yeah I know: bad idea. So I decided to add a service layer, but I didn’t want to add EJBs to the mix; Jason suggests Spring. Being new to the concepts of AOP, IOC and dependency injection, the learning curve was much higher than expected. Either way, it worked out fine: I didn’t have to add EJBs, and it made deciding to add Acegi (to handle security) much easier.
In the end, the real reasons for me not completing the application include:
- Concentrating too hard on things like UI aesthetics. e.g., getting the color and size of table headers just right.
- Not having as much energy as I thought I’d have after a 40+ hr work week.
- Being one person and not being able to split my self like superman did in that one episode. This was the real killer; damn you reality!
But I’d like to ignore those, and instead blame the open-source community for making great software. Oh yeah, and Jason for suggesting I try these technologies. Damn you all to Hades. If you want see what I spent my free time on for the past 2 years, the code’s available here.