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Comment on "Separation of Model and View Web Frameworks"
by Jeff Watkins — Aug 02

Scott, you don't mention whether your app has to function for visitors with JavaScript disabled. While this isn't a large portion of the internet population, it still represents about 8% (according to Omniture).

I believe very strongly that a Web application should work for all visitors whether they have JavaScript enabled or not. Of course, the luddites might not get all the fancy features – just try to use the image gallery on the Apple Store without JavaScript – but at least they can get some value out of the application. This philosophy means I've always had to essentially build two applications – the static Web version and the dynamic Web version. Fortunately, the dynamic version is usually enhancements to the static version.

I suppose a lot of this is different when you are building something from scratch, but legacy environments also factor into how you build your app. As I've learned more about WebObjects, I've been increasingly disappointed. While it has some of the Cocoa coolness, it's very Web 1.0. In contrast, the more modern frameworks' ability to return JSON data or HTML mark up from the same request is fantastic.

If you don't need to consider non-JavaScript visitors, SproutCore might be the right tool for you – it seems to excel if you're starting a Web app from scratch and you can completely ignore anyone who doesn't have JavaScript enabled.

I can't talk explicitly about what's going on with Coherent, but I can tell you that personally, I'm very keen to solve the server interaction problem. What I'd like to build is essentially Core Data on the client-side. Provided your server application supports RESTful interfaces, the client-side model would then be synchronised with the server.

I'm far more excited by Jaxxer than Helma, because like you, I don't want a Java environment. Jaxxer is built on SpiderMonkey, which is written in C. As a result, ISPs might be more willing to install it. I haven't been tracking the development of Jaxxer as closely as I'd like, but it sounds like they are tackling some of the server integration issues as well.

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