Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Architecture Consultant specializing in open source frameworks.


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Comparing JVM Web Frameworks at vJUG

A couple months ago, I was invited to speak at Virtual JUG - an online-only Java User Group organized by the ZeroTurnaround folks. They chose my Comparing JVM Web Frameworks presentation and we agreed I'd speak yesterday morning. They used a combination of Google Hangouts, live streaming on YouTube and IRC to facilitate the meeting. It all went pretty smoothly and produced a comfortable speaking environment. To practice for vJUG, I delivered the same talk on Tuesday night at the Denver Open Source Users Group.

The last time I delivered this talk was at Devoxx France in March 2013. I didn't change any of the format this time, keeping with referencing the Paradox of Choice and encouraging people to define constraints to help them make their decision. I did add a few new slides regarding RebelLabs' Curious Coder’s Java Web Frameworks Comparison: Spring MVC, Grails, Vaadin, GWT, Wicket, Play, Struts and JSF and The 2014 Decision Maker’s Guide to Java Web Frameworks.

I also updated all the pretty graphs (which may or may not have any significance) with the latest stats from, LinkedIn, StackOverflow and respective mailing lists. Significant changes I found compared to one year ago:

  • Job Listings on
    • Play Framework job listings increased almost 4x
    • Tapestry jobs are 1/3 of what they were a year ago
    • Wicket jobs are 1/2 of what they were a year ago
    • JavaScript framework jobs are up quite a bit: Ember.js up ~300%, AngularJS up 900%, Backbone up 160%
  • LinkedIn Skills
    • Rails down ~30%
    • Grails up 25%
    • Play Framework up 200%
    • Spring Roo up 40%
    • Ember.js up 300%
    • AngularJS up 840%
    • Backbone up 200%

As you can tell from these findings, AngularJS has gained quite a bit of mindshare in the last year. There's a lot of companies looking for JavaScript skills and quite a few folks have added JavaScript frameworks to their LinkedIn profiles.

You can watch the recording on YouTube or click play in the embedded video below.

You can also quickly browse the slide deck below, download the PDF or view it on SlideShare.

Thanks to all the folks who attended these talks. And thanks to @dosug and @virtualjug for giving me the opportunity to speak.

Posted in Java at Feb 06 2014, 10:54:17 AM MST 6 Comments

Please advice how can one join this vJUG?

Posted by AlexSerov on February 08, 2014 at 04:47 PM MST #

Go to and click the "Join Us" button.

Posted by Matt Raible on February 08, 2014 at 04:50 PM MST #

Matt, thanks for this vJUG session. I've been following this talk for years and see transformation, which is obviously.

I did see Play vs Grails (you and James). But, could you please provide your current opinionated vision what framework (play vs grails) is the better and why?

I'm curious because Play isn't servlet-based and some customers might worry about this.

Posted by Orest on March 21, 2015 at 10:42 AM MDT #

Orest - I believe Play and Grails are both good frameworks. If you look at Indeed's Job Trends, it looks like Play is more popular than Grails. I think there's some really cool things coming with Grails 3.0 (esp. basing everything on Spring Boot), so that could boost it's popularity again. However, Pivotal pulling its funding probably won't help.

Personally, I've enjoyed Spring Boot as a webapp framework most recently. However, all my clients for the last year have needed an API, not a traditional server-side MVC framework. I've used Spring Boot to develop these APIs. In some cases, I've helped them develop iOS apps to talk to these APIs. In others, I've written an AngularJS front end.

Because I like AngularJS so much for webapps, I've been more attracted to JHipster recently. On a project I left last month, they decided to use Play for their API and I supported their decision. With microservices being all the rage these days, the lack of a servlet-based framework (or even an app server) doesn't seem to bother most of my clients.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 21, 2015 at 10:52 AM MDT #

wouldn't that be "play framework" rather than without the double quotes ?

Posted by Stephane Maldini on March 22, 2015 at 06:39 AM MDT #

Those indeed job trend stats are nonsense to be honest. if you read those stats you can see Play was even bigger than Grails is now in 2006, when neither framework existed. How many job postings have the words "Play" and "Framework" in them, probably a great deal more than Grails even if they are largely irrelevant.

Posted by Graeme Rocher on March 23, 2015 at 05:56 AM MDT #

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