I've had a few questions recently about my choice of JSPs for my personal web site. Obviously I'm a ColdFusion guy, so it seems like I ought to be running ColdFusion for my personal site. I'm also an avid Fusebox user/developer, so it makes sense that I'd be using Fusebox as well. Instead, I seem to be running JSP, without Fusebox, or even a Fusebox-like framework.

If you're interested in the nuts and bolts, I drew up an architecture document about how the site works. However, it doesn't really address the reasons for my choices. The biggest driving force is cost. ColdFusion costs about $1300 for the basic edition, which is way beyond what I can afford for a machine that will never make me money. BlueDragon (from NewAtlanta) is a CFML runtime that is available for free, but if you've read my recent posts, it's pretty clear that I don't think too highly of it.

That left other free technologies. PHP is one, but I've never really liked it. It was a little too much like Perl and/or C for my tastes. .NET was right out, since it's Microsoft, and MS software has no place on a server that doesn't have a sysadmin available full time. That left a few minor players, and the 800 lbs. gorilla of J2EE, specifically JSP/Servlets, which is the route I went.

I wouldn't call myself a Java programmer, but after ColdFusion, that's definitely the language I'm most familiar with. JSPs are a logical extension, bridging the gap between "real" Java and CF's tag-based goodness. I built myself a bunch of functions and tags that exposed a very helpful subset of CF's native functionality to JSPs, and from there built the site.

I've since installed BlueDragon on the machine (for my Fusebox work), and am planning on moving over to 100% CFML again at some point. However, what I've got right now works well, and it's easy for my wife to manage The Boisvert Life via MovableType's admin interface.

I'm currently building out a CFC-based model framework loosely based on EJB's entity beans. When that's ready, the proof-of-concept application will be a CFML blog, which will replace this one. No idea when that'll be ready, but it's going to kick ass. To the tune of "Barney will never write a SQL statement again". Yes, you read that right. No more SQL anywhere; the framework will write it all for you, based on an XML descriptor. And not dynamically either, so it'll hella be fast, even without agressive caching.

When available, it will be released under an open source license, of course, probably MIT-ish.

One response to “JSP?!?”

  1. Thankful Wife

    Thank you sweetie for making it easy on me since we all know I'm clueless when it comes to coding. I love Movable Type, so easy to use! Maybe I'll one day teach myself how to code, or actually sart trying to internalise the jargon you tell me about, instead of just nodding and smiling. ;) Then I'll "hella be fast" at updating my site. Hee hee hee, I'm so evil… ;p