ie. Spring MVC, Struts 2.x?
Also, what would be the best framework to integrate Ajax into? Is AJAX the current "standard" for server side scripting?
Any advice/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thomas Mcfarrow wrote: requirement is that it needs a nice plugin for Eclipse to help expedite development.
That is not a requirement. Frontman is so simple, you don't need no steenking plugin. Its a pure MVC system.
It may be true that other frameworks are so complex and hard to use that you need a plugin, but that's not a requirement of your basic question, rather its a side effect of the choice of a framework.
A requirement should be written as: Framework that is highly productive for developers, either intrinsically easy to use, or has built in crutches and plug-ins to hide its complexity.
If you want just a bare-bones, stay-out-of-your way framework, you might like FrontMan; otherwise, not so much. If you want in-your-face affect-every-aspect-of-how-you-code, then Struts2 or SpringMVC will be more to your liking.
Personally, I think JSF is an abomination that needs to be excised like a cancer.
That being the case, I'll chip in with my favorite: Stripes. It's built on convention-over-configuration (meaning: if you name classes, fields and methods the right way, then you don't need to specify what should happen to them - it will happen automatically), and for what configuration is needed it uses Java annotations right in the code where stuff happens - no XML like Struts and Spring use.
As to the other frameworks mentioned, my opinions are these: SpringMVC might make sense if you're using Spring anyway, but not otherwise. Struts 1 was great in its time but is now dead. Struts 2 is different, but I don't see it rise much beyond what Struts 1 did. JSF turned off many people in its 1.x incarnation; version 2.x is supposed to be better -particularly if coupled with Seam- but I don't think it'll have a great comeback. FrontMan doesn't do enough for my personal tastes (e.g., no variable binding); I don't want to use several frameworks when I can use Stripes for all of it.
Ulf Dittmer wrote:I'll chip in with my favorite: Stripes.
As Ulf says, its personal choice, and I liked what I saw when I looked at Stripes. Got and read the book cover to cover, and still liked it.
But, when I used it, I didn't like it as much as I wanted or expected. It could have easily been user error (i.e. mine). What turned me to look elsewhere was that the Stripes community was mostly inactive. I did not find timely responses to postings asking for help, the source code was not having bug fixes or new features added, etc. These are important criteria in my requirements, but may not be in someone else's list of requirements.
Ulf Dittmer wrote:I don't think these "which is the best framework" discussions are all that helpful.
Agreed, which is why I couched my response as: if you are looking for x, check out y. There is no "best" framework for everybody.
That being the case, I'll chip in with my favorite: Stripes.
Ah, yes. I forgot about Stripes. Not a bad choice for a middle-of-the road solution. But it does seem to be losing mind share.
JSF turned off many people in its 1.x incarnation; version 2.x is supposed to be better -particularly if coupled with Seam- but I don't think it'll have a great comeback.
Having to use a second framework to overcome the inadequacies of another doesn't strike me as even approaching reasonable.
FrontMan doesn't do enough for my personal tastes (e.g., no variable binding); I don't want to use several frameworks when I can use Stripes for all of it.
FrontMan2 (in beta) adds some minimal data binding around BeanUtils. But remember, that's what FrontMan is really all about: erring on the side of too little, rather than too much.
There are some other choices worth mentioning:
Doesn't smells like idiomatic Java coding.
And I don't like that Groovy is the expression language for the templates. Nothing wrong with Groovy, I just don't like it that much.
In case you aren't tied to Java frameworks, have you considered JRails (JRuby + Rails)? The expressiveness of Ruby meets the power & benefits of JVM.
If you want rails like experience, try Grails, Recently I am falling in love with grails. It's quite productive and has lot's of plugins, developing custom tags are piece of cake. Integrates well with Hibernate, JPA, App engine datastore, Hadoop, Mongo DB, Neo4j. Security plugins makes life easier.
Grails can give you a working application in days.