I just reviewed my past projects and noticed, that for about two years I almost completely got rid off XML configuration and deployment descriptors. It really works well, is efficient to develop, maintain and test. I especially appreciated working with:
Wicket (Apache's Web Framework, from conceptual point of view similar to JSF)
Google's Guice (I like especially the fluent configuration and only 22 pages of documentation)
EJB 3 - No XML and just works. EJB 3.1 would be even better.
[JPA] it rocks but comes with very small XML-configuration - so it should be out of scope here.
Especially the integration between EJB 3 and wicket and EJB 3 and Google's Guice are superb (I will write some posts about that). I like JSF as well, however the amount of XML configuration is still huge. JSF was designed from the tool perspective, so it isn't a problem with a good tool (like Netbeans or JDeveloper). ...already looking forward to JSF 2.0 :-).
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