I went to the local Java Users Group meeting last Saturday to check it out. I hope to give a presentation on Hecl sometime soon, so I figured it was fair to go once or twice before showing up to recount about what I’ve been hacking on.
The meeting started off with presentations on first Java Server Faces, then Tapestery. Lots of “then include this, configure that XML file, add these”. The final presentation was two guys who had volunteered to redo the user group web site. After poking around at a few different things, they built it with Ruby on Rails, and gave a presentation on their experience. I was once again surprised at the uptake of that system in the Java world. The response amongst the people with whom I chatted afterwards was that it’s really Rails itself that’s so attractive.
I see Tcl and Tk as being a lot faster than Java for GUI work, but perhaps Java folks are used to using some kind of GUI builder for that, so the difference is less pronounced… and Java’s uptake has probably been greatest in the web world, so it stands to reason that something like Rails would really garner a lot of attention.