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Play's Role in the Stack

· Java Zone

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So I blogged before about how Play ships with one example app that could really be called modern and somewhat complete, and that app uses Backbone to route Javascript requests (to prevent each request having to go through a full http request/response cycle).

I was complaining that the documentation for that approach was scant. It‘s actually not awful. But it‘s certainly not great.

What‘s really puzzling is that there is no Activator template for generating such an application. But there are a lot of Activator templates for making apps that use Play and Angular. I don‘t really get that. That‘s like making a template that will make mongo play nice with cassandra. No, it‘s worse than that. It‘s like making a template where Hibernate let‘s you just submit queries directly to the database. Oh wait…

This is the curse of so much technology: it enters as the conquering master of the past, then in its desire to accommodate, nay appease, it ends up selling itself out (C++).

I looked at the Angular Play combo. I asked someone who had used it, once you pull in Angular, what does Play do? The answer: ‘routes the requests.‘ Really?? Um, EE has Jersey for that. Request routing is one of the stupid simplest things there is. Hell, Struts did that. I think Play does it well. It‘s nice and easy to setup routes, but yeah, that‘s not enough to win the state of the art web framework moniker.

Then yesterday, this postappeared, proclaiming ‘everybody wants to play.‘ Oh, help us please. As was said yesterday about Obama‘s recent stumping to fish ACA from the drink: ‘it‘s reached the Shamwow Stage.‘ More marketing, or ‘everyone else says the water is warm‘ is not a good way to advance a product.

It‘s like the web is in this Awakenings limbo now: HTML5 and the various JS zombies have made it seem that apps were not going to destroy it (at least not laying down), yet what we have out there in most web projects does not look like it‘s a generation past what was being done a decade ago.

So what do we get instead of real, powerfully demonstrated superiority of solutions? Yeah, a chorus of people singing their own siren song, in what Freud called the narcissism of small differences .

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Published at DZone with permission of Rob Williams, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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