Vote for Your Favorite Web Framework

08 Sep
Photo courtesy Toneray via Flickr
Frameworks help build the web. Photo courtesy Toneray via Flickr

We’ve been covering DjangoCon the last few days, and if we know one thing for sure, it’s that programmers love web frameworks — libraries of often used code which allow them to copy (or steal, if you’re naughty) functionality to their own site. Why do they love frameworks so?

When you begin coding as a budding web developer, you typically start building your first site piece-by-piece from scratch. Developing your first project is the most difficult part of the job simply because you’re designing utilities, buttons, animations, scrolling, text entry, backend data management, scalable networking, etc… — usually while learning and typically by a method which will make other, more seasoned developers balk, point fingers and mock.

However, once you build these tools to your liking, you have them on hand for all future projects. Simply tweak the code for use in your next development project. Reusing code is fast, its stable and its tremendously productive.

Therein lies a web framework’s appeal. Many of us will admit we’ll never be the rock star developer some others are, but collectively joined by web frameworks, we don’t really have to be. We get a peak into what makes good code which we can implement on our own sites and learn from it in the process.

In some instances, after getting familiar with a framework, you can piece together a rich interactive website in about twenty minutes.

How do frameworks earn money? Most of them are open source and depend on the financial and content contributions of friendly programmers. Some have a foundation behind it which fund and provide for the business aspects of the project in exchange for the rights to charge large operations using the code for customized support.

If you’ve never used a framework because you think they’re for noobies or are less powerful and less scalable than a custom-written site, consider the websites already powered on popular frameworks:

  • CNN, New York Times, Apple, Digg, and Fox News use Prototype JavaScript libraries
  • Digg and BBC use JQuery
  • LinkedIn, Walmart and (of course) Yahoo use Yahoo UI Library (YUI)

So which are the best? Prototype and JQuery are arguably the most popular JavaScript frameworks. Meanwhile, Python-powered Django has a considerable drive behind it as does PHP’s Drupal. Ruby on Rails has a verifiable fan base. There are many more up-and-coming frameworks out there. Which do you use? Add your favorite web framework and vote for your favorites below.

[Hat tip to Pingdom]

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