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Comparing webapp frameworks : Wicket

Posted by simongbrown on March 9, 2006 at 1:53 AM PST

Guillermo Castro has posted a Wicket implementation of the webapp comparison that I started a while ago. It's an interesting read and the contrast with most page/request based webapp frameworks is amazing. In summary, Guillermo says:

Wicket, in my opinion, focuses the development efforts in the right place, inside plain Java code, and leaves the graphical presentation where it should be, inside html. At first you might find a little hard to grasp this paradigm shift, as so many developers are being 'forced' to rely on jstl and jsp scriptlets to accomplish logic programming for a page with all the other frameworks. But once you get used to this, I'm sure wicket will provide really fast development times.

From my perspective, the thing that I really like about Wicket is that way that you can build common components, as illustrated by the BasePage class. This is a really neat way of building in commality across many pages in terms of their content and their layout. The thing I find most interesting about the Wicket implementation is summed up by the following comment that was left on Guillermo's blog.

I've never seen a finer explanation of why Java web development takes forever.

One of the reasons that I wanted to compare frameworks with a simple read-only app is because I wanted to see whether the easy stuff was actually easy, and I've taken a lot of flak about this. From a newcomers perspective, Wicket *looks* complicated. Once I (eventually!) get a few more frameworks written up, I'll add some read/write behaviour into the application and hopefully we'll start to see some of Wicket's strengths shine through.

My thanks go to Guillermo for volunteering to do this. I have the WebWork and Stripes versions half written up, so I'll make an effort to getting these out as soon as possible. If anybody would like to volunteer to provide a similar implementation in other webapp frameworks, please get in touch and I'll e-mail you the source. If you don't have a website/blog, I'm more than happy to publish it on my blog for you.

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