10 Best Free Web Application Frameworks

A web application framework is a type of software framework that supports the development of dynamic websites, web services, and web applications. The purpose of this type of framework is to enable developers to build web applications and focus on the interesting stuff, alleviating the repetitive overhead associated with common Web development patterns. The types of core functionality common to most web application frameworks include templating systems, user session management, common interfaces to disk or database storage of cached content, and data persistence. Typically, web application frameworks also promote reusability and pluggability of components, as well as promoting code reuse, and libraries for database access.

The best application frameworks are particularly good at organising large projects, yet at the same time trying to stay out of the way, and not impose themselves on the project.

The most well-known overall design pattern of web application frameworks is the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. A model is an object representing data or even activity, such as a database table. A view is some type of visualization of the state of the model, and a controller offers facilities to change the state of the model.

There is a wide range of web application frameworks available for Linux that are released under an open source license. To provide an insight into the software that is available, we have compiled a list of 10 high quality web application frameworks. We have selected frameworks that cover a number of programming languages including Ruby, PHP, and Python.

Now, let’s explore the 10 web application frameworks at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Web Application Frameworks
Ruby on RailsMVC ruby based framework geared for web application development
CodeIgniterPowerful PHP framework with a very small footprint
DjangoPython framework which encourages rapid development and clean design
CakePHPMVC rapid application development framework for PHP
Zend FrameworkSimple, straightforward, open-source software framework for PHP 5
YiiHigh-performance component-based PHP framework
PylonsPython web framework emphasizing flexibility and rapid development
CatalystElegant MVC Web Application Framework
SymfonyFull-stack framework
TurboGearsNext generation TurboGears built on Pylons

Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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