I still recall the moment when I realised that I would like to program. The motivation for me was recognition that creativity with software is mostly constrained by your imagination and skills, whereas creativity outside the software world is typically constrained by whatever physical items you happen to possess. Of course at that early stage I hadn't yet come across the subtle constraints in my optimistic assessment of software (such as CPU capabilities, memory, CAP theory etc!), but the key principle that software was almost boundlessly flexible sparked an interest that continues to this day.
Of course, the creativity potential of software implies an abundance of time, as it is time that is the principal ingredient in building and maintaining software. Ever since the "castle clock" in 1206 we have been exploring better ways of programming ever-increasingly sophisticated computers, and the last decade in particular has seen a surge in new languages and techniques for doing so.
Despite this 800 year history of programming, software projects are no different from other projects in that they are still bound by the project management triangle: "cost, scope or schedule: pick any two". Professional software developers grapple with this reality every day, constantly striving for new tools and techniques that might help them deliver quality software more quickly.
While initial delivery remains the key priority for most software projects, the long-term operational dimensions of that software are even more critical. The criticality of these operational dimensions is easily understood given that most software needs to be executed, managed, maintained and enhanced for many years into the future. Architectural standards are therefore established to help ensure that software is of high quality and preferably based on well-understood, vendor-agnostic and standards-based mainstream engineering approaches.
There is of course a natural tension between the visibility of initial delivery and the conservatism typically embodied in architectural standards. Innovative new approaches often result in greater productivity and in turn faster project delivery, whereas architectural standards tend to restrict these new approaches. Furthermore, there is a social dimension in that most developers focus their time on acquiring knowledge, skills and experience with those technologies that will realistically be used, and this in turn further cements the dominance of those technologies in architectural standards.
It was within this historical and present-day context that we set out to build something that would offer both genuine innovation and architectural desirability. We sought to build something that would deliver compelling developer productivity without compromising on engineering integrity or discarding mainstream existing technologies that benefit from architectural standards approval, excellent tooling and a massive pool of existing developer knowledge, skills and experience.
Spring Roo is the modern-day answer to enterprise Java productivity. It's the normal Java platform you know, but with productivity levels you're unlikely to have experienced before (at least on Java!). It's simple to understand and easy to learn. Best of all, you can use Roo without needing to seek architectural approval, as the resulting applications use nothing but the mainstream Java technologies you already use. Plus all your existing Java knowledge, skills and experience are directly applicable when using Roo, and applications built with Roo enjoy zero CPU or memory overhead at runtime.
Thank you for taking the time to explore Spring Roo. We hope that you enjoy using Roo as much as we've enjoyed creating it.
Ben Alex, Founder - Spring Roo