I don’t know much about Lift, but I can comment on Play. Play is a full-stack framework, which makes it a convenient default choice: it includes everything you need build most web applications.
What might also be relevant is that Play’s architecture. Play is an action-based MVC framework, which makes it familiar to Java developers who have used one of the many existing Java-based MVC frameworks, from Struts 1.x to Spring MVC and everything in between. Also, Play is very HTTP centric, which makes it easier to understand if you have done just about any web development, e.g. using Ruby on Rails.
Lift is *stateful* "View-First" component framework.
Lift does a lot with saving "continuations" on the session to execute on later requests. You code components that tie to views and then set up your pages by stringing together a set of HTML components on the page.
Play takes "stateless MVC" to an art-form. It's a very lightweight framework with a set of minimal conventions to get up and running. Play has really good support for asynchronous programming and pulling together a bunch of disparate data and streaming it as a result. It also focuses heavily on *developer experience*, providing their own SBT project defaults, along with a customized plugin that redoes the experience for developing a Play application.
Again, it remains to be seen what happens in the long term, but that's my view of things.
Josh Suereth wrote:
Don't you think that eventually even HTML5/browser-based programming will evolve to something like client-side frameworks, in which the client will crunch and present data in the best way for consumption, in a structured fashion, while the back-end (server side) will become more and more specialized to data manipulation, aggregation, analysis and service intercommunication? Even follow the CQRS example?
I'm thinking like 5 years from now...
I already see a lot of js frameworks going down this path (angular.js, backbone.js, and the everpresent node.js nowadays).
I think that play! is already "playing" well along this line (no pun intended), but I don't know lift enough to make a meaningful comparison.
Would you elaborate on this please, Josh?
And whoever else have something to say on this, too.
That's exactly what I see happening. Lift focuses on server-side owning "state" of a client's experience. The rest of the web is moving the other direction. Right now, if you compare Play vs. Lift I think Play embraces the notion that it is just a data-munger to a greater extent than Lift, hence my concern for Lift.
So yeah, I agree with you, the web is moving towards client-side heavy, stateful, powerful apps. Anyone not riding the current will be struggling to stay mainstream, regardless of the merits of their underlying technology.
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