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

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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.

The Web Framework Smackdown Questions

I'm doing my Web Frameworks Smackdown this morning at TheServerSide Conference. A few weeks ago, I asked What Would You Ask the Web Framework Experts? on Javalobby and LinkedIn. Here's a summary of those questions:

  • What is the overall performance of your framework as it compares to others?
  • How does your web framework position themselves in relation to Web Beans?
  • How easy is it to create a re-useable component in your framework? Is it as easy as sub-classing an existing component?
  • What is the key differentiating characteristic of your framework that makes it better than the rest?
  • What do you think about the various scopes introduced by Seam, e.g. conversation vs request or session? If you support these additional scopes, do you also provide some sort of concurrency control?
  • Why can't we, the Java Community, come together and adopt the best application framework and settle the web development subject?
  • What are you doing to help with developer productivity?
  • 2008 is a huge year for the mobile web. How do you help developers build great mobile web applications?
  • If you couldn't use your framework, what would you use and why?
  • How do you enable rich Ajax applications?
  • Can a developer make a change to source, and hit RELOAD in the browser to see the change? If not, why not?
  • What do you think about the whole Flex revolution, and do you think you are competitors to this technology?
  • How easy is it to create a module and plug it into a bigger application, complete with configuration, code, and view?

Of course, there's many more questions on the aforementioned pages, these are just some that I hope to ask during the panel. Sitting on the panel: Don Brown (Struts 2), Keith Donald (Spring MVC), Ed Burns (JSF), David Geary (GWT), Geert Bevin (RIFE/OpenLaszlo) and Justin Gehtland (Rails). I tried to get Flex and Grails folks, but they'd either left the conference already or are speaking at the same time.

Update: InfoWorld has some modest coverage of this event in Web frameworks debated at TheServerSide Java Symposium.

Posted in Java at Mar 28 2008, 10:04:02 AM MDT 14 Comments

Wish wicket was in that list. It really feels revolutionary compared to Struts or SpringMVC (or even rails)

Posted by Ned Collyer on March 29, 2008 at 12:56 AM MDT #

Yes, I have the same question, why is Wicket not on the list? Is it because the Wicket guys are not going to be around?

Posted by Peter Thomas on March 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM MDT #

Nick Heudecker was supposed to sit on the panel and present a session on Wicket shortly after. Unfortunately, he got caught up in the American Airlines fiasco and his flight was cancelled, so he wasn't at the show. I did think it was interesting that there weren't many folks using Rails (0), Tapestry (2), Wicket (3) or GWT (0) during the smackdown. We had 100+ attendees in the room, with most using Struts 1/2 and Spring MVC.

Posted by Matt Raible on March 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM MDT #

Anyone that can represent lift?

Posted by Mats Henricson on March 29, 2008 at 05:44 PM MDT #

"with most using Struts 1/2 and Spring MVC."

ahh the poor fools ;)

Posted by Ned Collyer on March 30, 2008 at 05:07 AM MDT #

I've done my best to answer these very good questions for Tapestry on my blog. I like the questions so much, they may end up on the Tapestry home page!

Posted by Howard M. Lewis Ship on March 30, 2008 at 11:44 PM MDT #

Ah, yes. Sounds like corporate developers. :D Personally, once I started using Wicket, it was hard for me to use anything else. I have not had any experience with Struts 2, so I cannot comment on it, but JSF/Spring MVC (not really a view layer)/Struts 1/Tapestry just don't cut the mustard anymore.

Also, the coverage by InfoWorld made me cry.

Posted by Michael Laccetti on April 03, 2008 at 12:31 PM MDT #

Nice posts! Answers are really interesting to read. Let's see how long will it take for Wicket to catch up with the latest Tapestry changes :)

Posted by Renat Zubairov on April 05, 2008 at 02:12 PM MDT #

What! Tapestry changed again :)
And IMO it is Tapestry that has some catching up to do.
Let the flame wars begin...

Posted by Peter Thomas on April 07, 2008 at 02:28 AM MDT #

I also think answering these questions might be helpful to developers when evaluating a framework. Anyway here is the response for the Click Framework.

Posted by Bob Schellink on April 08, 2008 at 04:57 AM MDT #

I'd like to see 20-30 more web frameworks developed and put into play. Please. Let's keep reinventing the wheel. It's not like us "poor fools" know...those corporate developers have better things to do.

Posted by Angelo Digrassi on April 11, 2008 at 01:04 AM MDT #

True, but it seems as if you are arguing that shopping around for different frameworks is a problem. Personally I enjoy the process. The important thing is to find a framework that you enjoy working with. Once you find it, master it and stick to it ;-). There is no need to keep abreast with each and every framework that is developed.

As a corporate developer myself I do agree that a real problem is when you move to another company or department and you have to relearn an entire new Java technology stack. For example one company might use Websphere+Portal+JSF+Hibernate+Spring and another use JBoss+JDO+Guice. Even with standards in place I find it hard to make this jump.

Posted by Bob Schellink on April 11, 2008 at 01:49 AM MDT #

I hope IWebMvc ( can someday be included in these comparisons. I will be answering your questions in a blog post today at

Posted by Jose Noheda on April 13, 2008 at 05:49 AM MDT #

@Angelo Its not a wheel, its a tractor tread! I am also one of the "poor fools", but have the fortunate position of being able to suggest and embrace new technology. Having a technology stack dictated would be fairly frustrating.

Posted by on April 14, 2008 at 12:44 AM MDT #

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