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Open Source Web Frameworks' Mailing List Traffic - June 2007

Who knows if these stats mean anything, but it does make a pretty graph. Current mailing list traffic leaders in the web framework space: Rails, Flex and GWT. For those frameworks with dev and users lists, these stats are from the users lists. If you find these numbers to be inaccurate, please let me know.

Open Source Web Frameworks Communities

Here's the numbers in case you want to create your own graphs:

  • Rails: 4056
  • Flex: 3558
  • GWT: 2305
  • Django: 1951
  • Wicket: 1718
  • Struts: 1689
  • Grails: 1307
  • MyFaces: 1283
  • Tapestry: 1268
  • TurbyGears: 797
  • Stripes: 206
  • OpenLaszlo: 189

Posted in Open Source at Jul 26 2007, 02:12:29 PM MDT 10 Comments

Interesting next to a Jobs listing from and some of these fall away quite drastically Question is where are they being used and who is using them. Could it be more Unoversity type and college students and academia giving them a boost because they are certainly not popping up in the job searches.

Posted by sj on July 26, 2007 at 02:43 PM MDT #

This is an interesting list, but I find it even more interesting as the activity monitored by nabble for web framework email lists seems to put Wicket clearly in the lead.

Posted by Martijn Dashorst on July 26, 2007 at 03:40 PM MDT #

Castle Project developers list - 885 Castle Project users list - 462 Not too shabby for a .Net project.

Posted by kevin on July 26, 2007 at 03:49 PM MDT #

The thing I find the most interesting is Eelco's thoughts in July 2005:

...who says having a list that has a lot of traffic is a good thing? It might just as well be an indication of a too-hard-to-understand framework having insufficient documentation.


Posted by Matt Raible on July 26, 2007 at 03:50 PM MDT #

I remember that quote, and still think it can be a sign of a bad framework, on the other hand, it can also mean dealing with a great community.

And on the documentation part: both Eelco and I are working on that problem (shameless plug alert!) :-)

Posted by Martijn Dashorst on July 26, 2007 at 04:45 PM MDT #

Yep. And I still stand by that Matt.

At least you start your post with a disclaimer this time ;)

FWIW, I do believe (and have experienced in fact) that if frameworks have very little traffic that that's a bad sign. It doesn't say much about the technical merrits of a project, but any project is unlikely to be perfect (or even if it is, perfectly understandable), and if there is no community to help you out, it reduces how useful it is for users. Also, if there as hardly any discussion on the lists about new features etc, it might mean a project isn't moving very fast. Though otoh it might be mature enough already, or developers might use other channels (like Wicket uses IRC a lot).

I think an even better indication is to measure how many questions are left un-answered, and incorporate activity on the bug trackers in your graphs.

Anyway, the graph does like pretty :)

Posted by Eelco Hillenius on July 26, 2007 at 05:12 PM MDT #

Why is Flex in the "open source" ? Its not open source and quite far from it actually.

Posted by Sameer Tyagi on July 27, 2007 at 08:27 AM MDT #

Sameer - Flex was open-sourced in April. If it's not really open source, I'd love to see documentation that supports that.

Posted by Matt Raible on July 27, 2007 at 08:33 AM MDT #

Flex was announced that it is going open source by the end of the year:

Either way, weather its Flex/JavaFX/M$ Silverstream, I feel this is the way web apps need to go in the near future. We've pushed HTML to its limits, and adding things into the mix like AJAX can do some pretty cool things regardless of the implementing language, but that's simply a band-aid on a technology that is being used for far more then it was originally intended for. Now as developers we're simply forcing square pegs into round holes in too many situations where a rich client should have been the way to go. Instead we spend our time messing around with javascript/css/taglibs/the framework of choice's quirks/deployment descriptors and numerous other issues to simply make our apps work within multiple browsers.

Just think how nice it would be to simply place a component on a page without worrying about positioning, browser work arounds, the framework of the month or whatever. This is what I am crossing my fingers the rich app frameworks will provide. Small HTML apps have their place, but far too often I see large apps being written in HTML when obviously rich client like Flex or whatever would have made sooo much easier....

My two cents in a completely random spot. ;)

Posted by Dave on July 27, 2007 at 09:03 AM MDT #

FYI, the number for Flex comes from the Flex Coders email list, available at As with the other languages I'm sure, there are also other mailing lists devoted to Flex... - for Flex components - for PHP / Flex developers - for Ruby / Flex developers Mike

Posted by Mike Potter on July 31, 2007 at 08:03 AM MDT #

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