The Tipping Point for Adopting Open Source Java Frameworks

Last I remember there were some 80,000+ open source projects. There’s a whole host of different solutions out there that solve the same problems. The MVC framework space is overflowing with Struts, Webworks, Velocity, JSF, and a host of others. The ORM frameworks include iBatis, Hibernate, JDO, and a bunch of others.

There’s a few rules of thumb I tend to use for whether it’s worth adopting something:

  • It keeps turning up on popular java sites like The ServerSide (TSS).
  • Multiple books have been written on it. One book is never enough, because there’s plenty of one off books on ideas that never really took off. SQLJ comes to mind off the top of my head.
  • It solves a specific limited problem domain and relies on things like simple POJOs for its implementation.

At this point the framework is probably worth a look. Right now I’m looking into the Spring framework as a good way to make our applications more testable. After I get through O’Reilly’s Spring: A Developer’s Notebook I’ll have a better idea whether it’s worth adopting.