When will we dump server side web frameworks?

Single page web applications have been around for a while. Applications that run all user interface code in the browser using Javascript to update the user interface. The application server only exists to provide access to data and business logic.

However, most Java Enterprise web applications i encounter still use serverside web technology like jsf, seam, wicket or similar. It’s not like these frameworks are perfect. Heavy weight on memory usage, problems with history and back buttons, complex lifecycle to maintain state, complex model split over multiple tiers.

Why are most enterprise web applications still using server side webframeworks? Some years ago I wrote a single page web application, mostly using JQuery (Here’s a presentation I did for nljug in 2008 about this project: Client-Server 2.0 using JQuery and Grails).

Today, the javascript frameworks to support single page webapps have matured a lot: we have MVC frameworks like backbone.js, UI component frameworks, javascript templating, QA tools like jslint and google closure linter, unit testing frameworks like qunit and jsunit, and documentation tools like jsdoc and docco.

So a full set of frameworks and tools to create single page webapplications exists. What is keeping us from using these for enterprise web applications?

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