Matt Raible has been building web applications for most of his adult life. He started tinkering with the web before Netscape 1.0 was even released. For the last 16 years, Matt has helped companies adopt open source technologies (Spring, Hibernate, Apache, Struts, Tapestry, Grails) and use them effectively. Matt has been a speaker at many conferences worldwide, including Devoxx, Jfokus, ÜberConf, No Fluff Just Stuff, and a host of others.

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My Future of Web Frameworks Presentation

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Earlier this week, I tweeted about a history of web frameworks timeline I created for my upcoming Future of Web Frameworks talk at TSSJS Vegas 2010. I immediately received a lot of feedback and requests for adding new frameworks and releases. The image below is the result of that Twitter conversation. Thanks to everyone who contributed.


History of Web Frameworks

Back in November, I wrote about my proposals for TSSJS. I've been thinking a lot about web frameworks lately and I can't help but think we live in a very exciting time. As a Java developer, I've been exposed to one of the most vibrant language ecosystems on the planet. As Tim Bray talks about, the Java Platform has 3 legs: the language, the virtual machine and a huge, immense library of APIs (both in the JDK and in open source libraries). The diagram below is something I created based on Tim's podcast.

Java has 3 Legs

Tim says, "One of those legs is replaceable and that's the language." And he's right, there's many languages that run efficiently on the JVM. This is one of the most exciting parts of being a Java web developer today. There's many proven web frameworks and languages that you can pick to build your next web application.

The best part is many of the best web frameworks run on the JVM. Not only that, but the best code editors are the IDEs that you're familiar with and have grown to love. Furthermore, much of the literature for languages is written for Java developers. As someone who knows Java, you have wealth of web frameworks and languages just waiting for you to learn them.

To create my presentation on the future of web frameworks, I followed the outline I posted previously. I plan on explaining the evolution and history of web frameworks and how we got to where we are today. From there, I'll be speculating on what web applications we'll be developing in the future. Finally, I'll touch on the necessary features of web frameworks that will allow us to develop these applications.

Of course, I haven't actually presented this talk yet, so it's likely to change in the coming weeks before the conference. The good news is this gives you the opportunity to provide constructive criticism on this presentation and help make it better. I realize that a presentation rarely represents the conversation that takes place during a conference. However, I believe it can portray the jist of my thinking and lead to a meaningful conversation in the comments of this post. Below is the presentation I created - thanks in advance for any feedback.

For those who will be joining me at TSSJS ... it's gonna be a great show. St. Patrick's Day in Vegas, what more could you ask for? ;-)


Published at DZone with permission of Matt Raible, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Leo Erlandsson replied on Mon, 2010/03/01 - 2:55am

Nice timeline!

I see Wicket got added in there after my tweet. Didn't have time to fork and add it myself ;)


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Mon, 2010/03/01 - 8:24am

Django is phenomenal. Period.

I tried to get into JSF 2.0, but after Django it was brutally painful. If was like someone was forcing you to crawl after you had already learned how to run.

Django's  admin app is light years ahead of anything in the Java world. And their ORM is braindead simple to implement.

We've investigating running Django on top of Jython to nicely integrate with our existing Java stack.

Bruce Fancher replied on Mon, 2010/03/01 - 3:33pm

Your timeline is missing (at least) one very important milestone: the release of WebObjects in 1996 ( Although, it's always been a niche product, it was years ahead of its time. Not only was it the first component-based web framework, but it even included a full Object-Relational Mapping implementation (Enterprise Objects Framework), years before Hibernate's first line of code was written. It's also been an inspiration for such products as Tapestry, Wicket, ASP.NET and others. By ignoring it, you're skipping a crucial milestone in the history of web application frameworks.

Bruce Fancher replied on Mon, 2010/03/01 - 3:34pm

Also, at one point it was used by dozens of major corporations Although many of its original users have since migrated to open source products, its still the basis for all of Apple's online services (iTunes Music Store, MobileMe and the Apple Online Store), which are arguably some of the most successful and heavily used products in their respective markets.

Matt Raible replied on Mon, 2010/03/01 - 5:06pm in response to: Bruce Fancher

Bruce - you make some good points. I'll add WebObjects before I submit the final presentation for TSSJS (deadline is March 10). The images and presentation here will be updated automatically when that happens.



Tom Willis replied on Mon, 2010/03/01 - 10:27pm

first zope released as open source in 1998 according to wikipedia.

Ganeh Kc replied on Sat, 2010/10/02 - 10:43pm in response to: Matt Raible

You have given a wonderful presentation so the feedbacks are obvious. Though, I am a bit unaware about flash and java Platform, but I am much more interested in this. I will try to help you as much as I can from my side on java platform and on making further presentation. Moreover, your image result shows that you have a good feedbacks comming from the users. Hope to hear from you soon.


VM Ware

Liz Brooks replied on Wed, 2011/12/21 - 6:18am

Django's  admin app is light years ahead of anything in the Java world. And their ORM is braindead simple to implement. staph infection

Nidhi Vohra replied on Wed, 2011/12/21 - 12:04pm

first zope released as open source in 1998 according to wikipedia. appendicitis symptoms

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