Comparing Java Ajax Frameworks

Matt recenty blogged about the best way to integrate Ajax into a Java webapp and promoted DWR: "The best thing that I've seen is to use DWR, Prototype and Scriptaculous". As the main developer of DWR clearly I'm going to agree that it's a great solution.

Every now and again someone asks about adding a JSP layer on top on DWR, so here's my take.

First I'm not against the idea. If you are using JSP as your view layer and neither know nor want to know Javascript, then an Ajax tag solution could help you a lot.

The biggest reason that DWR has not addressed the issue is that I believe in doing one thing and doing it well. DWR does the RPC thing and it lets you put your data on a page, but we try really hard not to get sidetracked.

I've been tempted to add JSP layer to DWR and I've been tempted to add a widget library to DWR, but resisted both.

So if JavaWebParts, AjaxAnywhere or AjaxTags or anyone else wants to build a tag library using DWR's abilities to marshall data over XHR then give me a shout, I'll help where I can.

However that said, don't give up on Javascript. It will give you the ability to stretch your web page in ways that a tag library never will, and libraries like Dojo, Scriptaculous and DWRUtil can really help give your pages some serious extra juice very easily.


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