I've been involved with servlet and JSP technology since around 1998. It
started out that I needed a way to build some web applications for several
projects, and liked Java a lot better than the alternatives. I also liked the
price tag of open source software, and started using Apache JServ -- later on,
getting involved in the project (like many people, I was whining about the
twelve months it took to get from version 0.9 to version 1.0, and my son said
"Dad, you know Java -- go help them finish it!" -- so I did :-).
For quite a while, I was participating a lot on the JSP-INTEREST and
SERVLET-INTEREST mailing lists, especially on
the topic of good architectures for web applications. I was disgusted with the
hash that many beginners created when they used (or abused) scriptlets in JSP
pages, and built (for my former employer) a pretty comprehensive framework that
could be considered ("Struts 0.01 without the custom tags"). It was
proprietary code, but I was able to describe the concepts, and there started to
be a feeling on the lists that this "Model 2" thing was pretty cool -- but
there were no good examples to look at, so it was mostly hand waving types of
Over the same time period, I got involved as an individual contributor in the
Java Community Process, and joined the expert group
that defined the servlet 2.2 and JSP 1.1 specs. Sun was impressed enough to
offer me a job as the technical lead on the team within Sun (currently five
other individuals) that works on Tomcat --
the architecture for Catalina, which is the servlet container part of Tomcat
4.0, is also mine -- so I am in the really nice position of getting paid to
work on open source software :-). And, participate on the expert groups for
Servlet 2.3 and JSP 1.2. And, speak at various conferences, including
ApacheCon and JavaOne. And, talk to groups within Sun about using Struts and
JSP/servlet technology. And ... (there's some really interesting things being
considered for the future).
The original design of what came to be Struts has been in my head for a long
time, since those interesting mailing list discussions, but the first version
of the actual code was written on my laptop on a Memorial Day weekend vacation
trip (end of May, 2000) to the Oregon coast -- in between watching the surf and
having the house shaken by a windstorm at night. Since then, it has gathered
attention and popularity as we approach our first official release, and it
delights me to see my "baby" grow up so well :-). Of course, it is no longer
just me -- there have been incredible numbers of good ideas from all over, and
a peek at the TODO list for 1.1 says that even more good stuff is coming in the
One motivation factor was
Jason Hunter's article about the Problems with JSP. Jason and I get along
fine, even though we have different preferences about presentation
technologies. Besides being the author of a very popular book about servlets,
with a second edition coming soon, Jason is also the representative for the
Apache Software Foundation on the Executive Committe of the Java Community
Personally, I live in Portland, Oregon (even though my team at Sun is mostly in
Cupertino, CA -- staying here was part of the job deal :-). I like to support
Oregon sports teams (Oregon State Beavers, Oregon Ducks, Portland Trailblazers)
and work on cool software.
I figured out I was getting pretty old when I realized that 2000 was the 25th
year I had been paid to work in some aspect of software development :-). I've
got a son who is a full-time software developer (primarily in PHP so far, but
I'm going to corrupt him with Java eventually :-), and a daughter in college.
I'll happily let the other committers speak for themselves.
I'm currently a student of computer
science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.
I've been working at HP Middleware, formerly
Bluestone Software for 3 years programming in
Java and recently J2EE technologies. I'm a full
time worker from September until April and a student
and part time worker from April until August.
In my spare time I've been known to run monkey-knife
fights in a shady south philly warehouse. Err...
I mean... nothing.
My primary interest in Struts is to put it to work writing lots of
real-life Web applications:-) To do that effectively means having good
documentation and code samples at my fingertips, so that's been my focus
with the Struts product so far.
I've been writing software for hire since 1984, but only recently jumped
on the Java bandwagon. My initial interest was with electronic
publishing, and started by converting my various print projects to
electronic media. The "Information Superhighway" was still the private
stomping ground of Universities and government agencies then. The rest
of us had to make do with diskettes and bulletin boards.
Between 1985 and 1994, I created and marketed several software products
for publishing on disk, the most popular being "Dart" and "Iris". In
1992, Dart was awarded the Digital Quill for software excellence,
featured in PC Magazine (February 1992), and bundled with McGraw Hill's
bookset,"Paperless Publishing" by Colin Hayes (McGraw Hill 1994). Dart
won a second Digital Quill in 1993. Several titles that used Iris for a
publishing system have also won awards and been widely distributed,
including "Hermitville USA." I was also fortunate to find kindred souls
on CompuServe and America Online, who helped me pioneer resources areas
there in 1993 and 1994 for the nascent electronic publishing industry.
I finally cut loose on the Internet in 1995, launching Epub News, an
electronic newspage about electronic publishing. After taking on several
private contracts, I opened the Husted dot Com Website (www.husted.com)
in 1996. I've drifted away from electronic books, but have noticed that
several products are now making their way into the consumer mainstream
-- as usual, I was twenty minutes into the future:-)
My favorite all-time project is the Hitchhikers Guide to Science
Fiction. This was one of my earliest hypertext projects (it started as a
print-book idea), and I had a lot of fun bringing it forward onto the
Web. (Now, if I only had time to bring it current and dress it up!)
My favorite all-time client is is WXXI Public Broadcasting Council,
where I've served as the station's Webmaster. WXXI provides public
broadcasting services for television and radio, and we are working to do
the same online. Along with providing companion Web sites for every WXXI
production, we stream both our AM and FM signals, in both Real and
QuickTime, with online archives in the works. It's a long journey, but
we've taken the first steps. I'm responsible for most of the regular
updates to the site, and much of the overall layout and design. We're
grateful to have won the PBS award for best Web site in our market for
two years running.
Our most ambitious projects at WXXI have been Spring Marketplace 2000
and the NY Election Finder. For Spring Marketplace, we put our annual
auction fully online for simultaneous telephone and Website bidding. On
NY Election, we offered not only the usual election-finder application,
but collected voter registration records from around the state, so
people could also check their registration status and polling place. I
developed the Web-enabled database applications for both projects.
Currently, I'm expanding the WXXI online auction software into a
complete package for hosting online auctions as fund-raisers; this is
to be an open-source project called Gavel, and, of course, is
based on Struts.
As a dreamer / researcher I have thought a lot about a framework like Struts.
But, as a lazy developer I have first checked what already exists, and I have
found Struts. Struts goals fulfilled nearly all I needed for my (now old)
portal project, except the capability to reuse and assemble easily pieces of
pages or components. So, I have proposed the Components framework. This
framework can be seen as a superset of the Templates tag library contributed
by David Geary, and contains lot of interesting features.
From a professional point of view, I have a Ph.D. in computer science. I have
worked for 3 years in the R&D department of a worldwide company developing
Internet banking solutions. I am now a researcher at a university, and work
on European research projects. My main research interest is WWW, Distributed
Systems and Object Oriented Design. When developing code, I always try to
first propose reusable pieces of code.
Currently, I'm a Principal Software Engineer at Tumbleweed Communications,
working on the Messaging Management System. Early last year (2000), I was
working on the architecture for a new web-based administration system for
the product, and headed in the direction of servlets and JSP. I joined the
JSP-INTEREST and SERVLET-INTEREST mailing lists to see what was going on in
those respective areas.
Before too long, some interesting discussions started up around the topic
of Model 2 architectures. Model 2 sounded like the right way to go about
things, and I followed those discussions closely. I was, however, still
looking for a "leg up" - something to give me that core on which to build.
Then, in May, I saw a post to JSP-INTEREST from Craig McClanahan entitled
something like "New Jakarta-Struts Subproject", and describing Struts, and
his vision for it. I hopped right over to the Jakarta web site and signed
up for the mailing list. Before long, I realised this was exactly what I
had been looking for.
Now, a year or so later, we have a team of people, on which I am the
technical lead, just finishing up our web-based administration system as
Struts reaches its 1.0 release. And I am still firmly convinced that I made
the right decision in going with Struts in the first place.
Like anyone else, my first postings to the struts-user list were questions
to help me understand how to do things, and why Struts is the way it is.
Over time, reading the lists and also the source code, and working on my
own fairly large web application, I came to the point where I could answer
questions too. Now, I'm glad to be able to give something back to the
Struts community by helping others understand, and also by contributing
ideas and code to help make Struts even better than it already is.