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Poll Result: the Future of the View Layer in Java EE Applications

Posted by editor on March 26, 2014 at 4:43 AM PDT

The most recently completed poll, which was submitted by Walter Nyland, asked the community about which technologies represent the future of the view layer in Java EE apps. A total of 245 votes were cast in the Java 8 poll, and two comments were posted. The exact question and results were:

What's the future of the view layer in Java EE applications?

  • 26% (64 votes) - Java EE component libraries will continue to dominate
  • 40% (99 votes) - HTML5, especially AngularJS, is and will be the dominant view layer
  • 6% (14 votes) - Neither the front-end nor the back-end of Java EE will survive HTML5
  • 5% (12 votes) - Mobile front-ends will be the only lasting view layer
  • 8% (20 votes) - Some other technology will replace the view layer
  • 9% (22 votes) - Java EE never had a significant place in the Java ecosystem, ever
  • 6% (14 votes) - Other

One thing this result implies is that HTML5 is gaining traction, or developers expect that it will do so over time. This confirms the fairly revolutionary nature of HTML5, and it also confirms that many developers know enough about it to consider it the future of the view layer in Java EE apps.

It's not too surprising (in my opinion) that "Java EE component libraries" finished in a strong second place. When you think about existing applications, and existing libraries that teams have used and built into their Java EE applications over years of effort, in many cases it's going to be easier for companies to utilize their existing code as the starting point in new applications, compared with starting from scratch with HTML5.

Together, HTML5 and Java EE component libraries captured about 2/3 of the votes. No other option achieved a double-digit percent.

Some of Walter's options provided developers with an opportunity to critique Java EE's own future with the context of this poll. For example, 6% believe that "Neither the front-end nor the back-end of Java EE will survive HTML5"; 8% think the whole concept of a "view layer" will become obsolete ("Some other technology will replace the view layer"); and 9% chose "Java EE never had a significant place in the Java ecosystem, ever."

6% of the votes went to "Other" and the two thoughtful comments may have come from this group. gkbrown commented:

"There should not be any view layer in Java EE. Java EE should be a service-provider tier that any type of client (HTML, native, etc.) can communicate with."

Meanwhile, tbee said:

Pure client side rendering has its place but also many drawbacks, where security sensitivities are probably one of the most important issues, but unpredictable performance is a good second. So I do not believe server side HTML generation will go anywhere soon, but I'm highly in doubt if it will be JSF. More of the logic will move to the front end, and JSF is not well suited for that, but not as far as Angular.js wants it.

Thanks again to Walter Nyland for providing us with a great poll!

New poll: Java 8

Java 8 is here, so now is a good time to get some initial impressions. Our current poll asks How significant is the Java 8 release?. Voting will be open until Friday, April 4.

What poll would you like to see?

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-- Kevin Farnham (@kevin_farnham)