Paradox/Parabox of Choice

A late night post due to a late night. Some things are bothering me and I decided to put them in words.

Consider this post on slashdot this is problem is real and a real burden to many shops. If you were a LAMP shop and that 'P' was Perl and then you add PHP because marketing wants something... and then you add RoR because somebody thought it was cool. Then you add Java to the mix. How many platforms are you supporting? How many different server configurations... and what is that costing you?

Even if you are a Java shop which kind of Java shop are you?

Both Neal Ford and Scott Davis talk about this idea called "The Paradox of Choice." The problem is that in Java land there are far too many choices between frameworks for anyone to comprehend and deal with. The paradox is that when given too many choices people can't make any choice.

Java has so many frameworks for so many different environments that it has become a joke amongst techies: "How many Java frameworks are there? Dunno, a new one comes out every second so what time is it?"

In typical tongue-in-cheek fashion I will instead refer to The Farnsworth Parabox of choice. This is a technique that I think will help. See the Parabox is a box that Professor Farnsworth put the universe inside... or is it a box with a universe inside it? Anyway at the end of the episode the Professor had created a box that contained our universe. Grails is your box. Grails contains the universe of Java but it fits neatly into a box.

Think inside the box. Check to see what works well with Grails. No seriously. If you use the Grails "defaults" you can effectively eliminate the need for making dozens of choices. Which framework to use? Well, what is the Grails default? Spring it is. Which application server to use? Which one comes with Grails? Jetty it is.

When you reach the edge of the box or can't fit a need you have into that Groovy/Grails box that's okay because the whole universe of Java is inside that box too. All you have to do is reach down deeper beneath the Groovy skin and dig into Hibernate, Spring, or EJB3 and that whole cosmos is ready and waiting for you. Conversely, if you are comfortable floating around in the gigantic universe of Java then you can reach down into the box and take out what you need.

Grails is the Java universe in a box.