Dion wrote about SLF4J and how only the Java community can make such a fuzz about logging. His captcha is broken, I can’t comment there so here is my thought on the issue:
From my impression into Rails and Erlang land, others have not reached the problem of proper log configuration, deployment and the need for sophisticated frameworks (But I’d like to learn if I’m wrong, and the issue is not only configurability but pluggin incompatible frameworsk with different loggers into one application).
The problem with commons logging and everything else comes from the fact that Sun implemented logging themselves instead of just going with everyone else by adapting Log4j. They didn’t make the error with EJB3 again, instead got Hibernate on board and did it the way everyone else does it. Log4J in the JDK would have killed all other attempts several years ago.
(That said, SLF4J and Logback are better than Log4j and commons)