Emergence of Web Frameworks

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-01-15 Print this article Print


4. The Emergence of Web Frameworks

With the Web as the development platform, the need for Web development frameworks became paramount. This is where Ruby on Rails caught steam and started to roll and along at a fast clip. Then came others like Django and JBoss Seam to name a few. Says Hansson: "Before this decade, most everyone where rolling their own home-brew frameworks. Today very few bother. I'd like to think that Rails played a big part in this."



5. Web 2.0

Spawned by the blossoming of Web services and the underlying foundation of SOA, the Web 2.0 craze hit by the middle of the decade and has been at the heart of all kinds of new computing paradigms and startups with new business models. The term is commonly associated with Web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include Web-based communities, hosted services, Web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folksonomies. Tim O'Reilly is credited with having coined the term Web 2.0.


6. Simple Beats Complex

Although the Noughties saw its share of complex systems -- as systems began to scale to enormous proportions (which will be part of the next installment of this series) -- the decade also can be viewed as one where simple solutions easily beat out complex ones. For instance, Hansson said: "Simple beats complex: Ruby over Java, Rails over J2EE, REST over SOAP, etc, etc. Complexity fell out of fashion."


7. The Rise of Scripting/Dynamic Languages

The last decade saw the use of dynamic languages grow significantly, with both Sun and Microsoft vying to add dynamic language support to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and .NET's Common Language Runtime, respectively. Microsoft produced its IronPython and IronRuby implementations of Python and Ruby, and Sun adopted the JRuby and Jython technology. Languages such as PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, Groovy, and especially JavaScript are totally in vogue.

Asked about another type of programming (which will be part of another installment), Booch said: "I'd suggest the rise of scripting languages -- PHP, Perl, Ruby, and of course JavaScript -- coupled with X M L leading us to things like AJAX [Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L] and Dojo as a more important advancement, for that has fueled so much innovation and has been the center of so much contemporary programming."


8. The Developer Community Bifurcates

The last decade was one of empowerment for developers - for the uber developers who build tools for others to use, for the programming wizards who use those tools to build software systems, as well as for dabblers, power users and just plain folk who need to put together a quick solution for them or their small team.

Thus, Sun's Gosling said one observation of the last decade for him is that:

"The community strongly bifurcates into hackers and engineers: hackers prioritize slapping stuff together as fast as possible; engineers take more time and concentrate much more on scalability, reliability and performance."

Although some might see a disparaging comment there, it was not meant as such. Several of the factors below actually lead to this, such as the rise of scripting languages and frameworks and tools aimed at enabling folks like designers and line-of-business staff to create applications -- perhaps as mashups.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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