Which is the Hottest Java Web Framework?

The “Break it Down” Blog has a lengthy post on Which is the Hottest Java Web Framework? Or Maybe Not Java? Comparing Java Web Frameworks is hard because so many people are passionate about the framework they know best. Add a couple more like Flex and Ruby on Rails and its downright difficult. Nevertheless, this post is good in that it contains a lot of pretty trend graphs and it looks like the author has done some good research. It’s likely the folks that will scream foul are the ones that did poor in the comparison (Tapestry and Stripes, I’m talking about you).



Surprising among the top Java Web Frameworks is the rise of Struts 2.

Which is much more interesting I think is how Wicket adoption has stayed almost flat while Struts 2 adoption has spiked. Spring MVC/WebFlow seems to be going no where fast and racing JBoss Seam there.The popularity of Struts 2 really caught me off guard with it being quite a bit different from Struts 1, I figured it got thrown into the “just another web framework” category, but I guess there is something in a name and it’s doing quite well.  
Regardless of what you think of the post and trends, you have to appreciate the amount of time the author put into it.





  1. I’m not sure this research is terribly meaningful. Google Trends is a list of how often people searched a given term on Google. So if people are searching for it does that mean its popular? Or does it mean there are a lot of problems with it? Does it mean their documentation sucks and their forums are hard to search?

    I suspect the Spring Web MVC results are incomplete. Most people interested in it will know that it is part of the Spring Framework, so will they really go to Google and type in “Spring MVC”? Or will they just search on “spring” or “spring framework” or “webflow”? Or just go to springframework.org? And “spring web mvc” (the most correct way to refer to it) wasn’t included at all. If you add “spring web mvc” and “spring web” (both reasonable to include, I think), then the results are much more on-par with JSF and Wicket and well ahead of Struts 2 and Seam.

    I think Seam is also suffering from the fact that people likely just search on “seam”, but it’s impossible to count that. In the case of Wicket, the query includes the word “wicket”, which means it is including searches coming from Croquet enthusiasts and Star Wars fans. In the case of JSF, the query includes the word “jsf”, which means it is including searches coming from military aviation buffs looking for more information on the Joint Strike Fighter.

    Another strange thing from these results — the inquiries on “Struts 2″ are mostly in Chinese (like 6 times more than in English). What the heck does that mean? Is there really a ton of Struts 2 development going on in China? Or is there some linguistic issue that is creating a bunch of false positives there.

    Anyway, interesting stuff I suppose, but ultimately not really useful information.

  2. You are right in a sense that the number of searches cannot be taken to measure the popularity of a particular framework. It cannot be entirely reliable or may be true. But, for the guys who want to know whats happening in the market, this can be a starting point. After all, I think the choice of a framework (or any software tool) purely depends on the problem in hand. It’s not necessarily has to be true, no matter who says, that a particular framework (or a language, platform) is superior or better than the other.

    But, you have made interesting commentary and I appreciate that.
    Thanks for your comment, anyway.

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