What's the hot Java web framework?
May 5, 2008 5:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm starting a new project at work rewriting a web application from scratch. We want to rewrite it in Java for a number of reasons that aren't really important. I've spent the last few months off and on researching web frameworks, but I haven't got a really good handle on how the web-development community feels about them. Help me choose!

Some of our priorities, more or less in order:

1) Something that's relatively mature, and also will likely be around for a while.
2) Web 2.0y. I don't mean glossy and missing e's, but easy integration with JavaScript (especially jQuery). It'd be nice if it understood AJAX-type interactions out of the box.
3) Something that'll look good on a job description, to help attract creative applicants with interesting experience.
4) Overall ease of development.

I've looked at Tapestry, JSF, Struts, and glanced at things like Trails and Sails and RIFE. Am I missing any? Any opinions on the frameworks I've mentioned?
posted by Plutor to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
From the criteria you've mentioned, I'd say Wicket might be your best bet. It's a little weird at first, but gets much easier. It also makes it easy to make nifty AJAX-y widgets that the cool kids like so much these days.

And Grails is really getting a lot of notice lately, and rightly so. It's pretty easy to learn and is quite powerful too.

Struts was revolutionary in its day, but now seems very outmoded and crude compared to the modern stuff.

I worked with Stripes a bit; it was very nice, but doesn't seem to have much adoption.

Haven't tried Tapestry, but it seems to inspire a fair bit of controversy among Java people; I think it has something to do with drastic changes to the API between releases

Also, you may have already read this, but if not, there's a PDF called Java Web Framework Sweet Spots (the site appears to be down at the moment) that does a nice compare and contrast.
posted by yalestar at 6:06 AM on May 5, 2008

Oh, and of course Spring MVC. I don't have much experience with it, but it seems to be very highly regarded in the community.
posted by yalestar at 6:09 AM on May 5, 2008

Seconding Wicket & JQuery
posted by zeoslap at 6:12 AM on May 5, 2008

I've been playing around with the Restlet framework for a few projects; it's a very different approach from struts / jsf, etc. If it fits the problem you are trying to solve, it may not be a bad thing to look at.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:02 AM on May 5, 2008

Response by poster: Wicket seems promising, and Databinder linking it to Hibernate is encouraging, too.
posted by Plutor at 12:25 PM on May 5, 2008

WebObjects is lovely, and has a great if small community. It meets all of your requirements, to boot:
1. It's one of the oldest web frameworks, more than 12 years old.
2. Project Wonder brings all this goodness to WO.
3. It definitely attracts a certain class and quality of developer, who actively seek out WO projects to work on.
4. Ridiculously easy. It was Rails before Rails.
posted by bonaldi at 9:53 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Followup, six months later: We settled on Struts 2. After checking out Servlets, Tapestry, Wicket, JSF, Struts, GWT, and Echo, we decided that the maturity and the size of the experienced developer base far outweighed the potentials of the others. We already had two developers who knew it, plus we had purchased an eCommerce toolkit that used it. (We didn't realize at the time, but the integration with Spring and Hibernate are pretty slick, too.)

Here's the details of the review we did.
posted by Plutor at 5:12 AM on November 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

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