Wicket first contact

While working on an AJAX web application a couple of weeks ago, a co-worker asked me what I know about Wicket. Not much at that time. I knew it was some kind of component based web framework, but only in the sense like everybody knows that Porsche is a German car brand.

During the recent holidays I spent the entire time away from work and with my family. As most of the time when I’m away from work I made a list of things to look at. Wicket was not on that list. I seldom make it at least half way thru that list anyway. It was the same this time. But then I saw this article on TheServerSide about the release of Wicket 1.3. The big amount of comments caught my interest. Suddenly, Wicket was on that list.

Today, I downloaded and installed Wicket, and then looked for documentation and tutorials. Besides some interesting online resources, I found the combination of two books on Wicket the most helpful:

The first book seems a little more verbose than the second book and covers more background, while the second book (besides being more complete right now) has much more source code examples. They complement each other perfectly in my opinion. So I got them both.

After reading thru the first three freely available chapters of “Enjoying Web Development with Wicket”, I got interested in chapter 6 (Supporting Other Languages). I was really impressed to see how I18N is a first class citizen in Wicket.

Screenshot from the Cheesr sample application

I then turned to “Wicket in Action”. Right now it is not completed and contains many errors, but none of this is really a problem. I made it thru the chapters 1-4 and implemented the Cheesr sample application (from chapter 4) along the way.

I really like what I’ve seen so far from Wicket:

  • It’s component based and encapsulates the request/response cycle
  • Components seem easy to write
  • Good internationalisation concept
  • Separation from logic and presentation

Right, I’ve barely scratched the surface yet, but Wicket as a web framework looks promising.

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