Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lift 1.0 Released

Two years ago, today, I launched the Lift Web Framework as an open source project. Wow... it's been a long and fun experience... and today the dozen plus Lift committers and the whole Lift community together are releasing Lift 1.0.

Lift is an expressive elegant web framework based on the Scala programming language and released under an an Apache 2.0 license. Lift provides developers the best way to build interactive, high performance web applications. Lift based applications are deployed as WAR files into J2EE containers such as Jetty, Tomcat, and WebLogic. Lift based applications are high performance and can make use of your existing Java libraries.

I could wax on for hours about:

* Lift's Comet and Ajax support which allows you to build real-time interactive applications
* Lift's concise code allowing developer productivity normally associated with Rails and TurboGears
* Lift's high performance and scalability
* Lift's built-in support for REST and other web services
* Lift's use of Scala's type-safety so your tests can focus on business logic

But, that's not the most impressive thing about Lift. Lift is powered by a community of committers and users that cares about building tools for building great web apps. Lift is impressive because of the people who use, drive, enhance and exchange ideas about Lift. The Lift community is a warm, welcoming place for people of all backgrounds. The Lift community and Lift committers strive to learn from others and roll that learning into Lift and their own projects. That's my take on what makes Lift great, but let's hear what other have to say about Lift:

The interest and excitement about Scala continues to grow. It's great to see Lift reaching the 1.0 milestone as this is a proof point for the maturity of Scala as a software platform.
Martin Odersky, ACM Fellow, Father of Scala

Lift is the only new framework in the last four years to offer fresh and innovative approaches to web development. It's not just some incremental improvements over the status quo, it redefines the state of the art. If you are a web developer, you should learn Lift. Even if you don't wind up using it everyday, it will change the way you approach web applications.
Michael Galpin, Developer, eBay

The slight added complexity of static typing is more than offset by the performance, scalability, and the benefits of type safety. Lift is maturing rapidly and has already proven itself many times over, and it will only get better.

As much as I liked Ruby and Rails, I like Scala and Lift better. After more than two years of developing software in Ruby/Rails, we've shifted all our development efforts to Scala/Lift. And we are not looking back.
Charles Munat, Lightsource Interactive

Lift's excellent 'Comet made easy' philosophy made it an absolute no-brainer as the choice of framework for the Apache ESME project. Additionally, the fact that Lift-based applications run unchanged on the SAP's NetWeaver CE Java application server makes this an intriguing approach for enterprise applications in the SAP world.
Darren Hague, SAP Mentor, ESME team lead

When I decided to put Innovation Games® online, I knew that I couldn't afford a massive development effort. I needed a small, sharp team who could leverage best-in-class tools to help us solve the problems we knew that we'd have to solve in creating a new kind of collaborative gaming experience on the web. David suggested Lift and Scala and initial testing proved that we could realize the developer efficiency and backend scalability that we felt was required to efficiently support thousands of simultaneous games. We're now very comfortable with Lift and Scala and are pleased with how the solution framework continues to evolve to meet our needs. While we've used lift to push the boundaries of interactive web design, I strongly recommend anyone who wants to build a compelling web experience using an elegant framework to consider using Lift.
Luke Hohmann, CEO, Enthiosys

If you're looking for a web framework on a strongly typed functional language and the JVM, Lift is the only game in town. Oh, and it just works, too.
L.G. Meredith, Managing Partner, Biosimilarity LLC

For me it's mainly because Lift represents collective web wisdom - all lessons learned and new to be discovered.
Viktor Klang

I find Lift a very solid piece of software very well designed and written. It is the result of many years of experience of many people. I believe in Lift's utility when developing not only compelling web applications but also other server side applications sitting on top of HTTP stack. I would choose Lift over any other web framework out there without blinking.
Marius Danciu

Lift is like a breath of fresh air: concise, elegant and robust - all on my existing Java infrastructure...

Lift stands on the shoulders of giants, learns from their mistakes and adds a whole new dimension to web application development.

Irrespective of the technology, what makes Lift really special is the community - well read, intelligent and welcoming.
Tim Perrett

Lift combines simplicity, flexibility and power better than any other web framework in my experience.
Derek Chen-Becker

Lift allows a single person to accomplish what would have previously taken an entire team.
Tyler Weir

You can get started with Lift or join the Lift community right now. But, it's time for me to thank a whole bunch of folks that led to Lift and keep Lift going:

* The Lift committers who are a totally awesome group of folks that I'm honored to work with.
* The Lift community as a whole.
* Dani, Jon and Brion for doing the SmartMode thing back in 2000-2001. SmartMode inspired Lift.
* Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon, Burak Emir, Philipp Haller and the other awesome people that build Scala and the Scala community.
* Jamie and Jon who, along with Burak, taught me Scala.
* The Scala community as a whole which is a great place.
* Roger Rohrbach for the name Lift and the rest of the Gabblists for a lot of support and feedback.
* Matthew and Walt for taking the first chance with Lift and helping me understand how to teach Scala.
* Tim O'Reilly for raising awareness about Lift.
* Luke Hohmann for betting Buy a Feature on me and Lift.
* SteveJ, Jorge, and DavidB for being the early committers and the guys that turned Lift from my project into the community's project.
* Aaron Williams for the putting Buy a Feature into SAP's Collaboration Workspace.
* Lee Mighdoll for making repeated bets on me and Lift, not to mention crafting the phrase "expressive elegant web framework".
* Kaliya who builds the best communities.
* Jack, an awesome CEO, for reminding me what focused leadership means.
* Darren and Dick for choosing Lift for ESME and for including me in the ESME project.
* The whole ESME team for exposing 10,000+ SAP developers to a Lift application at three DemoJams.
* Greg who keeps on asking me the hard questions that drive Lift in a more functional direction.
* Debby who has been herding the Lift project towards 1.0.
* My wife and father and kids who provide(d) the tools for taking the risks of thinking beyond the norm.

Lift is 1.0. Lift is ready and able to power your interactive web applications. The Lift community is waiting to welcome you, your questions and your feedback. Please join us.


Randin said...

Very nice guys, you should be very proud of a great framework

Dean Wampler said...

David, congratulations! You might want to add a link to the home page: ;)

Daniel said...

This is great news, indeed! For Lift, as it is a sign of success, maturity and a successful project, for developers, who have access to a great tool, and for Scala, as it gets proven as not only a viable, but a superior alternative language in the Java space.

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