I need to start investigating alternative persistence frameworks whenever I get some free time. I’ve tried looking at Hibernate in the past but just couldn’t find the time to implement a small project properly in it and understand the benefits.
A great write-up about another alternative, iBATIS SQL Maps which seem to have found the sweet spot between full O/R and hand-written JDBC can be found here.
As others have found out entity beans can be overkill in situations and that’s basically why I’m looking for some persistence alternatives. I’ve got to buy this book on J2EE Without EJB as well at some point, I’m sure it’s a great book as I have another one by the same author.
On the Swing/AWT front, SWT seems to be emerging as a good alternative for cases where you need a simpler interface which doesn’t need to have all the customization benefits that Swing gives you. Some evidence of people who like this approach is here and here is Bruce Eckel’s take on what Gosling has to say about SWT. Basically Gosling prefers the flexibility of Swing and the complete emulation and hence customizability it gives you while Eckel and some Smalltalkers think Swing takes it too far and suggest that using the interface objects underlying the platform and wrapping them to give a Java interface is a much better idea and yields better, more lightweight and faster code.
I have to agree on the faster and lightweight issues, even though the only SWT app I use is Eclipse. I know Eclipse is huge but it feels a lot snappier than a pure Swing implementation of it would have been. It has *never* crashed on me and much simpler Swing apps have crashed for me in the past. It is also proof that SWT is indeed suitable for huge projects.