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Mar 01

Aren’t you bored of Java frameworks? I am.

Java, Tech, Web Frameworks Add comments

Back in the day, I was the first person to know, and care about version 2.6.1 of FooBar, the open source framework that does everything that you need.

For one, as editor-in-chief of TheServerSide, it was my job to be on top of things.

For two, I actually cared. The playing field was fun, there was a lot of innovation. It was a brave new world.

Fast forward to 2006, and I am the anti-framework releaser. If I never see “YetAnotherMVC 1.2 Released” announcement on TSS and others, it will be too soon.

Isn’t it just so BORING? Partially, I think I hit the end of the road on keeping up with the Jones’. At the end of the day I want to get my job done. I want to produce business functionality for my clients. ROI and all that garbage.

Now, I am living part of my life in the land of the UI. What has excited me about this land, is that when I develop a great Web UI for a client I can:

- Show my wife, and she can see that it is cool. Telling her (totally non-technical thank god) that I refactored my 3-tier backend using ALL of the GoF patterns isn’t a turn on. Neither is showing her a web page, but at least she can get it.
- Same for the client: Watching clients say “wow” is worth it. The backend is very important, but the front end is big too.

So, I am officially bored of all of the server side framework crap. I do listen for some things. Every Dojo/Prototype/Scriptaculous release makes me look, as so much has been added, because they are so young.

Aren’t you kinda bored too?

32 Responses to “Aren’t you bored of Java frameworks? I am.”

  1. Anthony Eden Says:

    People still release Java frameworks? ;-)

  2. Matt Raible Says:

    Boring is good – it allows us to get our jobs done w/o worrying that we’re missing out on something. I wish Ajax frameworks were boring too. ;-)

  3. Eric Knapp Says:

    I am in complete agreement with you. But, since I have to teach them for a living this is a bad thing for me. That’s why I love to get together with coding buddies and talk Rails!


  4. M Diddy Says:

    Back In The Day: framework excites you.
    2006: framework is boring. UI excites you.
    Some years down the line: UI is boring. The-next-big-thing excites you.

    In summary, you’re getting old man. ;)

  5. Hani Suleiman Says:

    Dion Dion Dion, have you forgotten your AOP phase so quickly? In the end, what excites you is shiny baubles, until the next shinier bauble bobs along!

    ajax is no more ‘valid’ of a reason to get excited than java frameworks are, or AOP was, or spring was, or persistence was. It’s all cool for a bit, then one’s attention drifts to the next entertaining thing. There’s no real evolution or progression here.

  6. Rickard Says:

    Personally I am looking forward to the growing up of various RDF frameworks, like Sesame. Now there’s something to watch for… AOP combined with RDF is the next shit. And remember, you heard it here first :-)

  7. Angsuman Chakraborty Says:

    Oh yeah! … for looong time.

    Oh look there is a new shiny bauble!

  8. Dan Creswell Says:

    “There’s no real evolution or progression here.”

    That for me is the kicker – yes, yes lots of frameworks but they’re all just slightly different ways of facilitating the same old tightly coupled three-tier architecture.

    Until we get around to changing the architectural underpinnings of our approach to systems, it’ll be more of the same. Until we stop trying to build the killer, do it all framework it’ll be more of the same.

    People harp on about Java being dead but it’s not the language or the J2SE platform that’s a problem. Rather it’s the fact that we’ve got locked into applying the language and platform in the same tired old fashion. First install JVM, then install J2EE or J2EE lookalike, now write application.

  9. Seyed Says:

    Maybe we have to admit that the continual release of Java frameworks address the fact that Java development is fundamentally broken? :D

    Ajax actually provides something tangibly new to the end user: a new responsive UI for the web. Lightweight frameworks that simplify the mapping of Ajax calls to serverside resources are a useful addition.

    As shiny and nice the latest serverside frameworks are they don’t actually provide anything tangible for the end user that the previous lot didn’t. Seriously, what project have you done in Spring or JSF or [insert new idol] that you couldn’t actually do with Struts or servlets or JSPs? Or others can’t do with python or php or C or .NET? Sure your maintainability is wonderful (yeah right – ten million XML files and still the legacy of SQL and other code fragments to deal with), your scalability is through the roof (sure it is) and reusability is unbelievable (till the world changes around you). But seriously, the end user doesn’t give a crap.

    Java frameworks try to codify the learning of a few experts on a handful of projects into generic solutions for everybody, everywhere. They try to install working philosophies of design as if thats a substitute for clued-up engineers. Instead of the fancy new framework, fire the dumbass engineers writing crappy code (and the offshored projects too) and hire yourself a couple of real engineers. Then let them do whatever gets the job done.

    That said frameworks have their place. I’m always interested in how wheels are reinvented (thats the fun of being an engineer sometimes). They’re the soduko of the programming crowd.

  10. Romain Guy Says:

    Dion: You’ll never get bored of UI ;-)

  11. Chris Says:

    I have to agree with Seyed, most of these frameworks exist because most developers aren’t good enough. You can write a highly scalable, maintainable, reuseable web app using straight Model 1 JSP’s with inline Java code, as long as you have really smart developers who are very, very disciplined and will follow good coding practices. But it’s hard to find enough good developers to make up even half your team, nevermind the entire team. And in any case smart people like to waste time coming up with frameworks. ;-)

    But I also agree with Matt, that if these frameworks are becoming boring that’s probably a good thing, a sign that the market and tools are maturing. It’s no longer bleeding edge. For some, that’s boring and they move on (say, to RoR?). For those who just want to get the job done, that’s a good thing.

    On the other hand, I don’t think these frameworks have become boring yet. I think just like Webwork consolidated with Struts Action Framework, you’re going to see more of these frameworks merging as the technologies continue to mature. And appropriate view technologies for JSF are still in development, so I think JSF will still undergo a lot of changes, nevermind what the other component frameworks do. And of course, then there’s AJAX, and all the frameworks that that will spawn. So there’s still plenty of interesting things left IMHO. :-)

  12. ali Says:

    only i like they review frameworks , give a chance
    to wicket framework , they believe that software is more expensive than hardware (RAM) – i am reading about this framework , their mailing lists are active

    if accept design of swing is actually good then wicket has same design. my interest is panels and borders and markup inheritance in additional component inhritance and also support ajax.

  13. Professional Says:

    Well. The thing is that you just don’t need all those frameworks.

    Skilled developer knows patters and useful tricks which he can apply easily by himself, without someone’s code. Java is very expressive language so it is not diffucult to write a “framework” everytime you need one. Learnign and adaptation of any particular OS “framework” often is more time/resource consuming comparing with the time, it will take to write one.

  14. Anonymouse Says:

    Blogs are boring, too. ;-)

  15. Denis Krukovsky Says:

    Boring? They are just unproductive. Here is a story about web UI:

    and thoughts on persistence:

    Denis Krukovsky

  16. Ivan Says:

    everyone hates them. the good ones are just being lost in the rush now. i think everyone is tired of hearing the following:

    1. low footprint
    2. lets you do want you want to do
    3. only a LITTLE xml configuration
    4. rides on top of “X” doesn’t reinvent of wheel
    5. pojos hurray!

    etcetcetc. i dont want to learn any damn more apis. if i had my way, i would use barely any, just some light wrappings around things like db and xml. i think what i’ve learned about mvc frameworks is that a properly organized code base with conventions doesn’t need them.

  17. Asif Shahzad Says:

    As long the frameworks are concern, its ok. It can be learned and easy to grasp as well for enterprise Java developers. But i think the major problem is of Java central IDE, so i have an idea (it might be funny for u).

    Microsoft should build “MS Visual Studio for Java”.

    It can make the Java Developer’s life easier.
    What do you think?

  18. Dave Knipp Says:

    I partially agree. The evolution of AJAX and UI within web apps is definitely something that was lacking and this is why many are taking notice.

    But frameworks are somewhat of a necessity in the java world. One of the key benefits to java is that we don’t reinvent the wheel as much as we used to. We don’t all write our own persistence frameworks, we just use Hibernate.

    These frameworks DO enhance our day to day coding tasks enabling to do things much faster, and doing things faster is definitely a plus in my mind. Getting to that end result where you can say ‘my implementation worked’ is the icing on the cake where all your hours of design paid off.

    Now I do believe that we shouldn’t all shift every time a new framework comes out. Sure take a look and see if its worth while, but there is a natural evolution as far as adoption goes. Look at Struts, its the defacto standard now, but how long has it been out? Many years… it takes time for things for frameworks to be adopted, sometimes the uptake is quicker if the framework solves a new problem, but in the long run it does take time.

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    If you are, please send your word doc resume asap. Also they need someone who knows .Net.

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  20. James Says:

    Its bored “with” not bored of.

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