WEB4J not open source

May 22, 2008

One framework that could be in a 2009 web framework tournament would likely be Django. There’s been postings this past week on a framework called WEB4J, a ‘minimalist’ Type 2 framework. Another long debate on frameworks broke out on TheServerSide regarding WEB4J and its author. The author makes disparaging remarks about Ruby, PHP and Spring on his website, and that helps get the (relatively) gentlemanly discussion going.

So happens the rules on the 2008 tournament only allowed FOSS (free / open source) frameworks, which wasn’t too much of a restriction since pretty much all Java web frameworks in use out there are FOSS. Except perhaps for WEB4J, which is (as the author says, contrarian) not open source, but it is sold for  "is available for $19.95 US, and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee . Purchasers are eligible for free upgrades for five years, and receive priority support. " I don’t see too much detailed info on the license terms, I guess you buy the jar file (binaries) and do what you will with it on your server.

In liew of the USD payment, you could just give the author detailed, and especially negative feedback:

You can pay for the Full Version of WEB4J in the usual way , or you can pay with your opinion

Instead of regular payment, we will accept payment in the form of non-trivial feedback. Positive or negative, it’s all good. (Negative feedback is usually more useful, so don’t be shy about negative comments!)

Please provide feedback on the following:

  • what do you like about WEB4J?
  • what do you not like about it?
  • what features do you wish it had?
  • would you recommend it to others?
  • does anything prevent you from using it?
  • anything else you would like to tell us?

I think there’s more to software being open source than what the the WEB4J author considers a fallacious reduction in support costs. But there it is, you can download a trial and try it out.



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