Java Is RIFE with Open-Source Development Frameworks

The open-source RIFE framework offers Java developers flexibility with its support for metaprogramming, AJAX and common development environments.

LAS VEGAS—Geert Bevin, creator of an open-source Java Web development framework known as RIFE, said he started his project in 2002 to bring the simplicity of scripting or dynamic languages to Java.

"I come from a PHP and Perl background, and I want to see the functionality of those languages in Java," Bevin said.

Bevin, who is chief technology officer at Uwyn, of Manage, Belgium, spoke on RIFE at TSSJS (TheServerSide Java Symposium) on March 24 here.

"I also like the features in Java 5 … Java still rocks," he said. "You can still get the same functionality as Ruby on Rails."

The name Uwyn derives from the acronym for "Use what you need," he said. Uwyn specializes in dynamic Web applications, rich Internet applications, Web 2.0 and AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) solutions, platform-independent programs, and interoperable Web services, he said.

"We needed to provide the metadata approach. The existing standards are there, such as Enterprise JavaBeans [and others], but they are not applicable to every model," Bevin said.

"In my opinion Ruby on Rails is one of the best things that could happen for Java, because when I talked about these things a couple of years ago nobody listened," Bevin told eWEEK in an interview at TSSJS.

The flexibility and performance of Java as compared to options such as the Ruby on Rails framework or dynamic languages such as Python, Perl, PHP and Ruby was a recurring topic at TSSJS.

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RIFE is a full-stack component framework for quickly and consistently developing and maintaining Java Web applications, Bevin said. RIFE provides a consistent approach throughout all of its layers, manages the life cycle of the application and provides reusable components for business logic. More information on the RIFE framework can be found here.

The RIFE framework features content management, life-cycle management, metadata, templating and Web components.

It also offers external interfaces such as support for Web services, content syndication and asynchronous mail queue, and common services such as authentication, resource abstraction and general-purpose utility classes.

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Bevin said developers can get started quickly with RIFE by using RIFE/Jumpstart, a source archive that supports common Java development environments including Eclipse, NetBeans, JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA, Ant and X-develop. RIFE/Jumpstart features a collection of libraries to get developers started, a customizable source structure, test blueprints, a Jetty servlet container and other components.

Next Page: Metaprogramming support and other features.