Anyway, I believe we are entering an age of non-intrusive frameworks (unlike traditional J2EE) that serve as lightweight application servers, or lightweight containers, if you will. AOP isn't a piece of software or a container, it's a different and complementary approach to ye olde Object Oriented Programming. AOP is about layers. It's about being able to layer on supporting functionality and weave it into your core functionality. AFAIC, Sun is put on notice: your big overdone API's for J2EE aren't necessarily the best way to develop all of the components for a scalable OO architecture.
A lot of the things that J2EE provides (such as security and persistence) might be better served as application aspects, layered onto the core OO model. And technologies such as Hibernate are here to help as well.
Layers involve complexity, but that's not a bad thing. Why, there are even bits of wisdom on the matter to be found in everybody's favorite DreamWorks feature film:
SHREK: For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think.Who can argue with that? ( Apr 05 2004, 08:55:55 PM PDT ) Permalink
SHREK: Example? Okay, um, ogres are like onions.
DONKEY: [Sniffs] They stink?
SHREK: Yes. No!
DONKEY: They make you cry?
DONKEY: You leave them out in the sun, they get all brown, start sprouting' little white hairs.
SHREK: No! Layers! Onions have layers! Ogres have layers! Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers. [Sighs]
DONKEY: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. [Sniffs] You know, not everybody likes onions. Cake! Everybody loves cakes! Cakes have layers.
SHREK: I don't care... what everyone likes. Ogres are not like cakes.