13 Aug 2010

If you like web MVC you'll probably like the Play web framework

Play is a MVC, convention-based, stateless web framework for Java with growing support for Scala too.

It’s not for me as I can’t face going back to MVC and the kinds of presentation languages they use. Having said that, if you like MVC, and you’re not already using Grails or Rails or a similar framework, I strongly urge you to look at Play as there’s some nice technology in there. 

Everything I know about Play comes from Rustem Suniev’s talk for the London Scala User Group at Skilsmatter on Wednesday. The slides and video are already on-line and they contain a really nice live-coding demo of Play which gave me a good sense of what the framework is about.  Nice work—and pizza courtesy of autoquake.com (who are hiring).

One comment I will make is that Play pushes it’s stateless-ness prominently. For many of us I suspect our default position is that stateful=bad and stateless=good.  That sounds sane, but you probably do need some state in your application, and you have to deal with it somehow, or push the issue somewhere, which leaves me feeling that state v. stateless thing is all a bit more complicated that we often think it is.  It certainly does not automatically mean better scaling or performance, but there are definite positives to it.  I’m glad to see the Play community discussing state and exploring some nice ideas.  Just don’t assume a label of “stateless” solves all your scaling problems—if you’re lucky enough to have any :-)