Java Chatter and Random Nagging

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bus factor of Echo2

Tuesday, I went to a presentation by Alef Arendssen
where he discussed the choice of Web Frameworks. One thing he mentioned was the bus factor: for example, when a open source project is managed and programmed by only 1 person, the project has a bus factor of 1. It signifies that it only takes one bus to stop the project, if the person behind the project is hit by a bus, the project is terminated.

It definitely made me rethink my own choice for the webtier. I am currently using Echo2 and I definitely love it, it allows me to create very rich user interfaces (check out the demos in a previous blogpost) and I don't spot too many bugs or missing features. But there has not been an updated version since March 2007, and this scares me. There is not a large community supporting Echo2, although it is a great piece of software.

So, let's look at other options:

I don't know about the bus factor of all the following projects, but they all seem promising and are direct competitors for Echo2 :
  • JSeamless : nice demo, although it seems quite heavy and slow
  • Wings : same issues
  • GWT : definitely not a bus factor of 1, and more client based than Echo2 (probably a good thing, although you can only use a subset of Java this way)
  • And, most interesting to me, definitely considering my objections against Echo2 bus factor : Coeee. Besides having a silly name (really!), Coeee was started as a branch of the Echo2, EchoPointNG and Echo2 Extras source code. The project aims to further develop the code that formed Echo2 into a highly robust web UI framework. It is supported by Karora which aims to create a community around a few open-source web frameworks. They claim that it can port easily ported from Echo2 to Coeee (merely a package change apparently). It all seems a bit too easy. For what reason did the Karora guys fork Echo2 instead of contributing to it directly (they argue that the community support was insufficient with NextApp, and maybe they do have a point here). At least I am noticing quite some activity on their Jira tracker.
For my pet project, I am sticking with Echo2 (which I will probably migrate to Coeee, if I find the time), but for a future webapplication, I will probably consider using GWT.

Offtopic : a very interesting article about an enterprise application sharing almost the same architecture as my pet project (Echo2, Hibernate, MySql).

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At 1:56 pm, Anonymous Kris Budé said...

"although you can only use a subset of Java this way"

This is only for client code offcourse (where you use gwt for). For the server side code, you can use whatever you want.

It is obvious that on the client side you can only use that subset of java that is relevant for client side coding (things that can be converted to javascript, html, ...).

So I think this is not really an issue here.


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