It's fun to compare the historical download numbers of my new project with the last project I worked on . Until recently, they had been tracking pretty much level - Seam downloads had been growing slightly slower than Hibernate downloads did, about one month behind. But recently, the downloads jumped up, and Seam after 18 months is now where Hibernate was after almost 2 years. So, for now, we are doing better than Hibernate did.
Of course, the comparison is unfair: Seam has a fulltime development team, the JBoss and Red Hat brands, and a partnership with Exadel. Hibernate had a couple of guys working out of their bedrooms.
On the other hand, Seam entered a market crowded with
hundreds (thousands?) of open source application
frameworks, including a couple of strong competitors.
We had to work hard to show people that Seam was not
yet another web framework, or
IoC container. Thankfully, we're past that phase now.
I'm interested to see what happens next. From 12k per month (where Seam is at now) to 30k per month (the point at which Hibernate downloads suddenly exploded) was a long hard slog for Hibernate. But I remember that it was also the most exciting bit: we were coming to grips with the technology, the user forum was full of smart, friendly people, and we didn't yet have a great big target painted on our backs. The Seam community today feels just the same. I can't express how nice that is :-)