Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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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.

Large sites powered by Java web frameworks and Tiles + WebWork

Yesterday, I delivered a Comparing Web Frameworks seminar that included Struts, Spring MVC, WebWork, JSF and Tapestry. This was for a client that's in the process of re-working an extremely high traffic site (50+ servers currently) from Servlets + JSPs to a web framework. They love the idea of Tiles (and know how to use it) as well as plan on integrating many Ajax features.

We quickly eliminated Struts because of ActionForms since they're planning on moving to persisted POJOs. Spring MVC and JSF had a notch up because they work with Tiles. However, JSF has reportedly had scalability issues. Furthermore, it's the most-complained about framework out there. One attendee noted how she was impressed with the low number of complaints about WebWork.

WebWork doesn't integrate with Tiles (but probably will soon) and they were concerned about SiteMesh performance with large pages (1MB + of text). While I believe SiteMesh can do almost everything that Tiles can do, I also agree that Tiles is a good technology. Furthermore, the "advanced features" of SiteMesh to be largely undocumented, which can be a barrier for adopting it as a "development standard".

Spring MVC was dinged because it doesn't have built-in Ajax support like WebWork and Tapestry (via Tacos). However, it's support for Tiles might just make it the one they choose - especially since they plan on using Spring in the middle-tier/backend. While they loved the idea of Tapestry, they didn't think they could afford the learning curve and I don't know enough about the @Border component to verify if it has all of Tile's functionality.

One interesting thing that came up was the list of high-volume sites using these various web frameworks. Tapestry seems to come out on top when you look at the list of well-known sites. However, I'm sure there are plenty I don't know about. If you know of high-volume sites using any of these five frameworks, please let me know. I'm looking for major sites with millions of hits per day. Here's my current list (extra points for fancy templating with SiteMesh/Tiles + Ajax widgets):

  • Struts: None that I know of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are plenty.
  • Spring MVC: None that I know of.
  • WebWork: JavaBlogs (don't know if this exactly qualifies as high-volume, there aren't that many Java developers). WebWork also has a few products based on it (i.e. Jive, JIRA, Confluence), but these companies also employ WebWork committers.
  • JSF: None that I know of.
  • Tapestry:, (similar comments to JavaBlogs) and


Related: How To use Tiles like SiteMesh and SourceLab's Web application technologies comparison (with performance numbers!).

Update: FWIW, I figured out How to use Tiles with WebWork and wrote a short howto for doing dependency injection with SiteMesh.

Posted in Java at Feb 15 2006, 11:55:57 AM MST 30 Comments

Wanna learn more about Geronimo?

If you're interested in learning more about Geronimo, you might want to attend Jeff's Introduction to Apache Geronimo 1.0 Webinar. It starts at 11:00 a.m. PST today. You can register here.

Posted in Java at Feb 15 2006, 10:40:27 AM MST Add a Comment