With Java EE 5, you don't need deployment descriptors for simple web applications. DD's are optional. But, I can't imagine a web application without a deployment plan. Most of the XML related stuff is done using Java language annotations. Annotations are a part of AOP and help in generating the boilerplate code which is tredious to write.
With regard to this article, I think it's very apt to clearly mention the app specific (Geronimo in this case) deployment plan.
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I know this is trolling, but...