Is there a Wicket – Tapestry feud?

There is none. Jonathan Locke (the guy who started Wicket) did not storm into a meeting one day, screaming “we’re going to sink Howard Lewis’ ship” and then ran off to work on his evil replacement of Tapestry.

Just about every thread on Tapestry or Wicket on The Server Side or JavaLobby degenerates in a mud slinging skirmish, and the mailing lists of both frameworks regularly have people trolling about how much better the other framework is.

I don’t know how this whole Wicket vs Tapestry thing started, but let me state this: there is no feud, and no-one of Wicket’s development team has the intention of starting one.

Tapestry’s team could be a little nicer at times and statements on their website like: ‘In some Tapestry-like frameworks, such as Faces and Wicket, the page structure is more dynamic, at the cost of storing much, much more data in the HttpSession’ are stabby.

Some of Wicket’s ‘users‘ are pretty annoying hijacking threads about Tapestry for no good reason. I quote users here, as I’m not even sure they are in the first place. Take ‘Jan de Jonge’, the guy the started the flaming in several threads. To my knowledge he is not even subscribed to one of the Wicket lists. In fact, I could not find any relationship between Wicket and him at all! But the fact that he brought up Wicket in discussion threads in quite a rude way seems to be enough evidence for other people to believe he is part of Wicket’s community.

So if you are one of the four five people in the world reading this blog: if you ever think about starting a flamefest using Wicket vs Tapestry, don’t do it for us (Wicket’s devs), as we’re not happy with it.

Tapestry is a fine framework. Wicket is based on different choices so it results in a very different programming model with different tradeoffs. Both frameworks are open source, so you can download them (or check them out from svn) and play with, look at the source, gather some statistics, whatever you want to do. The frameworks are not related other than that they are both Java web frameworks and Tapestry is an Apache project and Wicket is incubating to become one.

Enough said.

8 thoughts on “Is there a Wicket – Tapestry feud?

  1. n8han says:

    I hope people will form their opinions about Wicket’s contributors (if they care) based on what they read on its official site; every project has forum trolls that are not to be believed. The users I want us to win are the ones that decide by tinkering around in many frameworks, who wouldn’t waste time with the Tapestry “team’s” dramatics.

  2. Jan de Jonge says:

    Eelco and all others,

    For the records I want to make it crystal clear that I niether belong to the Tapestry nor Wicket community. My colleagues and I are developing an in-house web framework. We think we could learn from Wicket and Tapestry’s experience and come out with something very beautiful. Because of this I follow these 2 frameworks very closely. I don’t and have NEVER used any of these frameworks except some little playing with both.
    Just for the record.

    Jan de Jonge

  3. Classy post my friend. It’s amazing how the community (users) tend to battle more than the very creators of the software. iBATIS is second to Hibernate, always will be and we have plenty of happy users to keep us busy. Flame fests didn’t help in the ORM space three years ago, and they won’t help in the Web framework space today.

    Great post.

    Clinton Begin
    Apache iBATIS

  4. devdanke says:

    I like Wicket because it strives to be simple and keep presentation separate. I wish Wicket would become more of a standard than JSF, because JSF is the EJB 1 through 2.1 fiasco all over again, but in the presentation layer. However, I have my doubts that Wicket will achieve critical mass (the way Hibernate and Spring did) among the component-oriented web frameworks. The reason is that Tapestry is a good framework and with v5 it’s going to get *a lot* better. I wonder if it’s possible for Wicket and Tapestry to merge at some point, incorporating the best of each (Tappet? or Wickestry? ;-). In my opinion, this combination is the only way to stop JSF from mucking up the JEE presentation layer for the next five years.

  5. What does critical mass mean in the context of an open source project, and why would it be important? The idea that software frameworks have to gain a certain weight and be backed by industry and job hunters is exactly the reason why things like EJB and JSF exist!

    Wicket isn’t doing bad though. Our lists are amongst the most active in open source land (in activity we top ROR and JSF/facelets and Tapestry doesn’t even come close). Which is at least an indication that there’s a healthy community around it (and/ or that the framework and docs suck :) ). We’ve got dozens of people/ companies we know of are using Wicket to build serious (multi man-year) production systems, including companies that the committers work for. There’s a book, Pro Wicket and another one, Wicket In Action in the making. What else do we need to ‘prove’ we’re not just a bunch of amateurs working on their hobby project?

    I don’t think Tapestry (5) and Wicket are really in each-other’s way. Both provide a different programming model with different pros and cons. Tapestry seems to be attractive for people who want the certainty of an established framework, where a lot of attention is put in scalability aspects and a tightly defined API. Wicket attracts to the crowd who want non-compromise separation of markup and logic, a pure Java programming model and maximum flexibility in stuff like custom components, 3rd party integration, etc. Both have enough users and developers to keep development going and to ensure that the frameworks will last for at least a few years.

    In the end, whether a framework has 2 or 200,000 users, it’s open source so you can make your decision based on looking at the code yourself and playing with it etc. As an example, my favorite scripting engine for Java is PNuts, which is not very well known, and hardly sees any development. But it just works great for me. I’m not gonna use Groovy just because the rest of the world tells me so.

    Re mergal of Tapestry and Wicket… Nah. I’ve proposed that jokingly to Howard two years ago, and one of Tapestry’s committers started that discussion with us a year ago. But we (Wicket’s committers) don’t see the point (and neither does Howard). We work from different philosophies (managed vs unmanaged for instance) and that alone makes that there is just no common base to build upon. But no worries, a result of such a merger would only be some nasty Frankenstein. Better have some healthy competition. Bad for my free time, but good for users.

  6. devdanke says:

    Thanks for the reply. You have my respect and appreciation for your Wicket work and for your posts on so many Wicket related stories. I wish I had your energy!

  7. > I wish I had your energy!

    Tell that to my girl friend ;)

  8. paulszulc says:

    six people :)

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