I was introduced to WebObjects (WO) by Obul in mid-2000. That was the first time I worked with Java too. I had only worked on VB before that and a little bit of SQL on MS SQL Server. That was all the practical experience I had in software programming. Of course, I had learnt quite a lot of other languages and used them too, but all in the classroom / academic project setting.
The MVC pattern was new to me. So, all the 'actual' programming I have ever done was always using the MVC pattern. I remember comparing a little bit of ASP programming I had done during my previous job and finding it to be so 'wrong'. MVC looked like the way to go, the most obvious and intuitive way to program.
Coming back to WO, it has an excellent implementation of the MVC pattern where everything is truly divided into an M, V and a C rather than the pseudo implementations that I keep running into time and again.
I had to dabble forcefully with J2EE for a while when we had to port a WO project to WebSphere (more about why in a moment). That was the first time I realized the beauty of WO. Learning WebSphere, its umpteen configuration files and the deployment procedure was truly a nightmare.
Most of my colleagues at work also started their programming careers with WO. They all learned programming the 'right' way thanks chiefly to WO and its beautiful architecture. However, there was one major problem with WO. Apple never promoted it the way it should have. It was was somehow considered a step-son. It was often called Apple's "Best kept secret". No one will probably ever know why Apple did not promote WO.
Due to this, such a beautiful technology did not become more well-known. People who have come across it believe that it was years ahead of its time. Nothing came close to it. I can vouch for this myself. Due to this, many companies moved away from WO. There was a shortage of developers with WO expertise. You had to look really hard to find someone who could fix problems or make enhancements.
As a result, jobs in WO also started reducing in number and my colleagues at work decided to move away from WO to other technologies. But most of them I talk to these days say that they have never come across something so good as WO. They have worked on a number of technologies addressing similar problems. Nothing quite matches up to what WO has to offer.
The WO community has also made tremendous contributions to the WO tools and frameworks, Project Wonder being the most notable. They have added a humungous amount of functionality and a large number of features which makes programming with WO much more of a pleasure.
So, I say to all Java developers out there. Learn WO. You will love it!
For more info, visit the WebObjects community home page.