What can ROO do to stand out and actually be the goto option for Java projects
I would like to thank the ROO team for thinking about developer productivity and taking a step towards automating scaffolding.
I have recently been evaluating Play framework for Java and Roo for a personal project and unfortunately even though Roo makes scaffolding easy, Play came out much more developer friendly and INTUITIVE for a start-up kind of an application. I did the initial scaffolding after deciding to give Roo a try and ended up using Play because Roo was consuming more time than i would expect to devote to get things going.
That being said ROO has Spring backing and i love what Spring provided to the java community so i would like to see ROO succeed and prove a viable alternative in future iterations. Here are few suggestions which I hope ROO team can look at and provide answers to for the greater benefit of adopters.
1) Web 2.0 App: Provide easy jquery integration along with samples of customizing the tiles and use standard 960 grid instead of an 800px grid. The admin app generated looks very ugly on a big monitor and fluid theme or a 960 theme (TWITTER BOOTSTRAP is very helpful) might help. It is hard to sell using DIJIT and DOJO in 2012 or not providing an easy way to swap out the toolkit (No offence to dojo folks). The whole stack of apache tiles, dojo, css is like living in 2001 and i absolutely loathed this.
2) Generate ADMIN or CRUD later like Play does (IF YOUR APP NEEDS IT) via a command. Keeping this in mind modify the sample and add examples like Play's blog which are usable out of the box (MANY FOLKS are using the blog app as it is on production blogs). This inspires more confidence in someone who just wants to build an app over a weekend and this is where Rails and Play make it so much better. This will also be helpful to folks who just want to use the scaffolding aspect of generating a controller and view and probably adding it in respective xml files which is the most annoying, time consuming, irritating, error prone and un-debuggable aspect of spring.
3) LESS/SASS integration: This will help in customizing and probably creating a theme framework down the line.
4) Spring security add on with oauth providers (Google, Facebook, twitter etc.). Play modules like securesocial make it as simple as adding a command and also provide built in views to handle it.
5) Customization of admin views, play makes it so simple to override and customize default admin CRUD pages and the documentation helps.
I am hoping roo team takes this as a constructive suggestions rather than criticism and hopefully Roo will gain more adoption with time.