Most programming is done on an existing framework or platform, and using various APIs which make your programming job much more convenient.

It can either be a superbly designed set of APIs, or a nice framework which you managed to get really cool things done really fast.

All answers should give concrete examples of why that framework is so awesome, or examples of cool stuff you did with it.

What existing framework really inspired you to do some awesome work?

I know this is subjective, but I think we can get some cool ideas from this question. Please be easy on the "close" link :) Also - commun-ikified in advance.

+30  A: 

C# and the .NET framework.

Lucas McCoy
+10, most productive environment i've ever worked in
I almost forgot this is crowded by .NET fans
victor hugo
C#/.NET is kind of a no-brainer :)
Yuval A
Why? Can you be specific?
Alex Feinman
It may sound silly, but I've noticed that a lot of people just don't like the idea of C# and .NET being more and more powerful every day, specially the C++ and Java die-hard fans.
@ Trap: Not silly at all. Some developers (mostly open source crowd) have this irrational paranoia of all things Microsoft. I'm a little more pragmatic, and prefer to go with tools that make me more productive (open or closed, yet I haven't found much I really like about the LAMP stack to justify switching over.)
-1 for no reason.
I think VB.NET should be included also.
One example: Stack Overflow
@eschneider: I said .NET which can mean any language: VB, IronPython, IronRuby, C++/CLI...
Lucas McCoy
@Janie Some people develop for linux/unix/smartphones. You can do that with C++ and Java. You can't with C# (and no, mono doesn't count).
+10  A: 

The great Boost side by side with STL of C++.

Yes, when you catch the power, you become addicted to it
the geekieness of C++ templates come from the fact that they are not surrounded in "", as with D mixins.. Same goes for LINQ sexyness vs SQL.

Zend Framework presents some of the best PHP code in existence.

Noah Goodrich
+7  A: 

I really like the Java API. The documentation is exceptional.

Meh to Java. Everything should have been derived from object, they lost me when I realized ints and Ints are different things.
James Cadd
+38  A: 

jQuery changed the way I think about programming for the web.

Peter Di Cecco
I must agree. jQuery brought lots of barriers down giving many web developers the chance to work hands-on with JavaScript, easily, and with great results.
Yuval A
+1 jQuery has really changed how I go about developing for the web.
Jon Erickson
+++ After the bunch of "getElementsByTagName('div')" and "getElementById('my')" all over the place, jQuery was a life-saver. That DOM API was never meant to be used by real people, jQuery was.
I agree I find myself doing things now with javascript I never would have even attempted before. Now it seems like I just write some code the way I think it should be done and presto it just works! jQuery is the tool that made me excited about xHTML
Agile Noob
+2  A: 

Spring both for Java and .NET rocks!

victor hugo
+1  A: 

MooTools makes for some of the most maintainable (and easiest to write) JavaScript applications you can get.

+3  A: 

Does Smarty count? It's a pretty awesome platform, and it's well documented.

+3  A: 

For me it's Processing.

I was completely astonished by this framework, which allows non-programmers to learn the basics of programming by simple yet powerful APIs, as well as letting experienced programmers create wonderful visualizations with things they only saw as bunch of bytes up until then.

Visualizations which you can quickly see with your own eyes are a great way to get to learn concepts.

Besides, people do brilliant things with Processing :)

Yuval A
Started a sentence one way and ended another. Rephrased my answer...
Yuval A

LPC for MUD development. Although sometimes it makes me want to gouge my eyes out, too.

+15  A: 


The first, and only, web framework (so far) that really got me looking for ideas for websites to create so I could practice my skills.

Yuval A
+2  A: 

ExtJS for its overall capability on UI, DOM manipulation, ease of Ajax implementations, and all sorts of other things.

Also their support forum is one of the best.

And no, I don't work for them but I do like them.

+14  A: 

Qt4... This is really great C++ GUI framework:

  1. High quality clean documentation and tutorials.
  2. Cross Platform
  3. Clean API.
  4. It is the unique C++ framework that hold backward ABI compatibility so well.
This is on my to-do list.+1, and will try it out soon
Yuval A
+7  A: 

Python, hands down. Batteries included + PyQt for GUI stuff.

import "batteries"
+1  A: 

In conjunction with ASP.NET, C#, Kentico CMS is a relatively new framework for building web applications. It has a couple of things going for it:

  • Flexible API & architecture for developers
  • Intuitive CMS for non developers etc.
  • A whole bunch of "out-of-the-box" features that speed up productivity

There is something to be said for a framework that is flexible, follows standards, and at the same time empowers everyone including developers to roll out the features which are required for a project in a timely manner.


The CSLA (http://lhotka.net/) framework is really good, We used this for a couple of years before building our own.

Using jQuery has transformed the way we build things, especially with building lightweight components that replace some industry standard ones we've purchased in the past.

Mark Redman

log4net is quite nice. It's remarkably easy to setup DB, file system and event viewer logging. The configuration allows you to quickly change behavior on deployment.

Trevor Goertzen
+5  A: 

I'm a big fan of the Cocoa framework for Mac OS X and, of course, Ruby on Rails.

Cocoa is easy to use, supports MVC out of the box, and abstracts Mac OS X while still maintaining the "closeness" to the operating system.

Rails is, well, it's Rails. It does what Rails does best.

Robert S.
+1  A: 

jQuery is my best mate by a country mile. It saves hours and hours of head scratching and cross browser cock ups. One of the best things for me (and there are many) is the way the selectors dovetail so nicely with CSS selectors with which I am very familiar. It makes DOM manipulation an absolute pleasure and Ajax a breeze. Thanks Jon Resig, from the bottom of my Mac Pro thanks man, you are a genius!

+7  A: 

Ruby on Rails (surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet). It shows how conventions simplify programming. Database up and down migration is an especially helpful idea.

Jim Ferrans

Here are my favourites:


as the frame work

and edited using

and manage the project with Trac.

If you're on the Mac, once you've done your code changes, check them over with:

svn diff | mate

and you can view your changes with some nice highlighting.

Mark L
+2  A: 

Flex 2+


  • AS3 is almost there as a mix between dynamic/static typed language (C# 4 mixes those too), with class-based and prototype-based hierarchies, closures, first-class functions.
  • I like properties (such as in Delphi and C#). And free functions (no more public static int Main() convention)
  • MXML is genius. Flex 4 will bring more XML-like coherence, but will lose some speed in developement (e.g. mx:Component is no longer in mx: namespace). This as opposed to XAML which is already XML-coherent but which is also very verbose (or the framework classes require such a verbosity?))
  • No threads. Never needed them, actually, since all I/O is asynchronous (accidentally, this is also what python twisted pleads).
  • common sense basic widgets. They almost always do 99% of what you wish for. But you can always make your own.

The downside is that it's not a full stack, but merely a presentation level. You still need C#/Java/PHP serverside. And it remained proprietary (ECMAScript 4 never got through).

What existing framework really inspired you to do some awesome work?

Well, I try to write something similar for Gtk+.

+5  A: 

I'd say Cocoa. Proves to be quite the Rich API, without the Java icky-ness.

+4  A: 

I really enjoy Pylons.

+1  A: 

In terms of which framework has enabled me to produce the most customer value per developer hour, I'd have to say C#/.Net followed closely by jQuery and ASP.Net MVC.

The fact that I can (mostly) forget about browser compatibility issues is jQuery's killer feature in my opinion. My team has recently been able to build a complex and extremely AJAX-heavy application using jQuery and ASP.Net MVC in a matter of weeks. I can't imagine being able to accomplish so much so quickly without these frameworks.

Nathan Harkenrider

Qt like in cute. Emacs like in max.


CakePHP of course. Especially after version 1.2, the way it forces you to code proper MVC and OOP to some extent is awesome and very enjoyable. I won't be programming if not for CakePHP.


The best API open platform I have used is ViaMichelin , definately the ferrari of all solutions and excellent maps. They knock blocks off other gIS providers and google are near the botton interms of quality as google maps is just a basic service.

Nick Wood