I was searching for a Java framework two years ago because I wanted
server-side persistence and a statically typed language with the option
for easy AJAX and debugging while the output markup is largely
maintained the way I wrote the templates.
I think I found Wicket via DZone due to the 1.4 release. I already read
a book from Manning before and liked that it was written in a way that
enables the reader to jump right into programming after having read the
introductory chapters. I was happy when I saw that Wicket in Action
seemed to use a similar structure. I think I tried Wicket without the
book first but got stuck really quick (at latest when I got to the point
when I needed models which was quite immediate) and so buying WiA was a
quick (and good) decision.
As with any framework, it takes at least one project to get your head
around it, so you better start with some personal project in your free
time. On the following 2-3 projects you are iterating on the "maybe I
could have done it better that way" process. But that's just the way it
is for any framework in any language (and also without any framework at
all). I assume the OP is using Wicket the first time without any
guidance and just hasn't found into it yet.
I wasn't able to put Wicket in use at work until January this year but
now we are on our 2nd (my 4th) Wicket project. What I could observe is that
1) you usually don't find into Wicket until you read a book
(with WiA it's sufficient to read the introductory chapters, jump
into coding and come back to the chapters whenever you need to know
2) there is an aversion until you get your head around the correct use
of models and anonymous inner classes, at least if you never did
something like that before
(WiA introduces it quite good but you have to start coding before
you really get it)
3) you should follow the (excellent) mailing list to read about issues
you may encounter and use it as a knowledge base once you hit some
(better on an own email account than on the archives)
4) if documentation does not help, read the source code
(I found it pretty readable which is much different from other
frameworks I have used/tried before - being easily accessible with
Maven and a decent IDE, there is no excuse not to look into it)
So, the conclusion is: There should be better free documentation but if
you pick up a book it's quite easy to get started and the best 30€ ever
- I agree that it is rather too easy for Wicket to make things stateful,
when you don't want it
To turn that into a point of critique: It may be hard to get stateless
I've made a similar experience where I had a search form that would not
go stateless. I couldn't figure out where anything was persisted but if
I had dug deeper, I may have found the cause, but that issue wasn't
important enough to invest more time in it.
- and in my opinion the stuff you need to do to achieve "normal" URLs (no ?,
no version number, no nothing) is just a pain. *Every* URL, for stateless or
stateless pages or whatever, should be "normal", otherwise it is just not
acceptable -- users never want to see those complicated-looking URLs under
I prefer the way Wicket handles persistence with at-most-once semantics
by simply adding version numbers on the URL (after a redirect from an
internal URL) as other methods are less successful in achieving that out
of the box, pollute URLs even further or add hidden markup. IMO, two
numbers on the URL are quite unobtrusive, especially as they are simply
ignored and transparently reassigned if the session does not match (i.e.
on a URL that has been pasted into an email etc.).
- did not yet try out Ajax with Wicket, so I have no opinion on that
It's incredibly easy to use; you should really try it. :)
Just my 2¢. In all, a great framework that is much easier to use than e.g.
things based on JSP. Keep up the good work, guys !
Full ack! :)
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