As I understand them, these frameworks all enable gui components to be created using java (with all its benefits) without having to do lots of html/javascript.

As well as considering the technical factors, I am also interested to hear if any are gaining popularity fast. Is a particular framework is becoming the leader of the pack, this will also effect the decision.

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  • What skills do you have now? – user1249 Jan 27 '11 at 22:09

1.) Have a look at Matt Raible's comparison chart and then as he advises - take a hefty grain of salt to go with it. In particular have a look at the different types of requirements (functional and non-functional) that he measures. Which of those are more important to you?

2.) Pick 2-3 that seem to fit your requirements best and prototype some pages/UI/Ux/workflow with those. Probably spend 2-3 days on each as a minimum (1 week if you can get away with it)

Then decide :)

  • slideshare.net/mraible/comparing-jvm-web-frameworks slide 21. Very interesting, and I'd certainly echo the need for salt - e.g. GWT can be run on top of SpringMVC or Grails - but not a bad starting point. – Armand Dec 10 '10 at 10:39
  • @Alison - thanks for the link, I was just looking back for it :) – Martijn Verburg Dec 10 '10 at 10:44
  • I think the main point I took from it is that there are actually a number of serious contenders for general web frameworks. Not sure how relevant to the question this is though - is it really about Java AJAX component libraries? – Armand Dec 10 '10 at 10:55
  • @Alison I think it's more focused towards Java web frameworks that use Java to auto-magically create the HTML/CSS/Javascript UI, so GWT etc fit that bill, but not others. Separate Java AJAX component libraries that do sit on top of some of those other web frameworks would be a useful answer as well I think! – Martijn Verburg Dec 10 '10 at 11:20

Consider JSF 2 with facelets. If nothing else, as it is in Java EE 6, and hence is 1) well-specified and 2) will be available and maintained for a VERY long time.

Unless you want to be an active pioneer, this might be quite good enough.


Consider why you want the leader of the pack

If it's because you want to be able to easily hire someone with detailed knowledge of the framework then that a poor reason because your choice should be simple enough for anyone to pick it up quickly using in-house examples and documentation.

If it's because you want a strong community, then any of the named entries on Mr Raibles site (tip of the hat to @Alison for the link) will suffice. A quick Google against any of the names you've provided will illustrate their popularity.

Overall, you want a framework that fits well with the way that you and your team develop code. It should be quick to learn and easy to maintain. You'll be working with it day in day out so you'll need to trial it against your most common use cases and see if the other developers like it.

  • they are not java based, they are both javascript. – NimChimpsky Dec 10 '10 at 13:26
  • @NimChimpsky D'oh. Misread the question. Edited accordingly. – Gary Rowe Dec 10 '10 at 16:09

The company I work for has today open sourced DomUI, a new Java UI/Application framework I built and designed. It is an AJAX component based framework which makes it very easy to build components and pages. It has a big set of standard components and a metadata discovery layer so that you don't have to repeat "this field is 5 chars long" etc all over the code. Although open-sourced today it has been used for over 2 years by 2 companies to create software. See the details at http://www.domui.org/ (end shameless plug)

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