Messy Picture: Java Web Frameworks

Matt Raible recently posted on web frameworks via another post by Tim O’Brien. His points were:

  • The Struts project has gotten confused with the split between Struts Shale and Struts Action (Webwork) which has hurt adoption.
  • “JSF continues to be the most over-hyped under-used framework in Javaland.”
  • He’s yet to “meet an unhappy WebWork fan.”
  • The learning curve on Tapestry is too high and it doesn’t maintain backwards compatibility.
  • Spring MVC is fine, but Matt has found “WebWork much more pleasurable to work with.”
  • Given the options you should go with Struts Action 2 (aka Webwork).

I’d be happy if WebWorks became the defacto web Java web framework as a successor to Struts, but unfortunately for now it’s still a wait and see game. In the meantime after about 9 months with JSF we continue to struggle with the six phase lifecycle and reliance on tooling. At least Ruby on Rails has forced the java community to wake up and smell the coffee.