Spring Roo Initial User Experience

I’ll start by saying that I admire what the Spring guys are aiming with Spring Roo. I really hope that this effort will be successful.

The promise is great; up and running enterprise Java applications in minutes, however, after being burnt in the past, most developers still would like to keep sense of control over their code base.

After watching the Google I/O keynote, where it was clear the Spring and GWT guys are working together, I wanted to spend 60 minutes on Roo and see how it goes.

So, I went into the Roo website and followed the command line instructions. Documentation is great and also the command line behaves very well. Didn’t dive yet into the auto-generated code, but I have a good feeling that the guys at SpringSource knows what they are doing.

after 5 minutes, the user experience is just great. And than came the maven piece…

I finished creating the first project as described here, and followed the instruction:

roo> perform tests

And than waited for 16 minutes and 3 seconds while seeing screens like this one:

I understand it’s not Roo, but maven behind the scenes, and that it was the first time maven was running on my laptop, hence the time it takes. However, I do expect to see much clearer messages about what’s going on, and why it takes so long…

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4 thought on “Spring Roo Initial User Experience”

  1. Ben Alex says:

    Thanks for trying Spring Roo and sharing your experiences. We currently use Maven for building user projects, as our research has shown about 80% of enterprise Java developers use Maven these days and we wanted to build on that momentum. It's certainly true that Maven needs to download some JARs and plugins the first time you run it, but the good news is it is cached locally. Various speed optimisations have been made in Maven 3, plus there are also repository managers available to provide organisational-wide caching.

    The “perform tests” command is actually equivalent to using “mvn test” at the command line. So next time you might prefer to try this, as the console messages are a little nicer that way. With “perform” commands Roo just spawns an OS process, so we have limited stdin, stdout, stderr redirection and associated reformatting options available.

    I look forward to hearing more about your Roo adventures.


    Ben Alex
    Project Lead, Spring Roo

  2. gnirpaz says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for your comment.
    I think it's only reasonable to use maven as the underlying mechanism to build projects.

    You should agree with me that Maven is not as elegant is it could be, at least not according to the Spring standards.

    In any case, I'm going to keep working and reporting on my experiences with Roo and GWT.


  3. Diegocastorina says:

    I have also experienced the same feelings after few minutes of Roo, but after a couple more minutes things started getting complicated.
    You can read about it in my blog if you want 🙂

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