We're Gonna Build a Framework

Music: "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel / © 1989 Columbia Records

“Because telling a software developer there’s already a framework to do something is like telling a songwriter there’s already a song about love”

A few years back, I was hosting a panel show with Mark Rendle with a round called ‘Bot or Not’, and one of the bots we featured was a bot called We Didn’t Start It, which makes up new lyrics for Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” based on headlines that are trending on Google. (Really.)

A couple of rounds later we had a ‘Framework or Transformer’, where we’d give the panellists a name and they had to tell us whether it was a software development framework or a character from the ‘Transformers’ franchise. And afterwards, as we were having a beer and talking about how it went, Mark asked me if I thought there were enough software development frameworks to rewrite ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’.

Turns out there are. Which is nice.

Also, I’m ridiculously happy about rhyming ‘kendo’ with ‘zend-o’ using the ‘O’ from ‘ODBC’.


Handlebars, Hibernate, Solar, Activate,
Phalcon, Flask and Silverstripe and TYPO3 Flow,
Agavi, Pixie, Hazaar MVC,
CodeIgniter, Lithium and PRADO.

Raphael, Bobo, Bottle and Tornado,
Django, CherryPy and WSGI
Glashammer, WebSphere, RedBean, TurboGears,
Albatross, Aquarium, Selenium, web.py


We’re gonna build a framework,
‘cos we wanna use one, but don’t wanna choose one,
We’re gonna build a framework,
we didn’t like the others, so we’ll write another…

SiteCore, Tapestry, Maverick and JSP,
Barracuda, Ay Caramba, Groovy on Grails,
Intercal on Interstates, Cascade, NHibernate,
JDBC, Ruby on Rails
Jasmine, Doctrine, Java Forms Engine,
Active Record, D3, Dapper and Velocity,
Thymeleaf, TopLink, Pyramid, Rethync,
Aura, Rico, Midori and Mojito,

Sitemesh, Cymbeline, Enterprise Java Beans,
Hug, Grok, Boost, Click, anything by Telerik,
Rango, Dojo, LLBLGen Pro,
Carbonado, Seaside, Pylons and Pyroxide

Fusebox, Flight, Flex, ServiceStack, Silex,
Carbon, Cocoa, Ample and Giotto,
Banshee, Symfony, Laravel, Fat Free,
Mocha, Pecker, Hobo, Cuba and Rialto

OpenRasta, Nancy, ASP net MVC,
Kendo, Zend, ODBC and Tempo,
Java Server Faces, Entity Spaces,
Cappuccino, SpecFlow, Polymer, JDO,
Google Web Toolkit, no need to learn Javascript,
JDK, code away, what else do I have to say?

Prototype, Boilerplate, jQuery, animate,
Mustache, Wijmo, Ionic and Allegro,
Bootstrap, Backbone, running on an iPhone;
Mobile apps, going live, built in HTML5
Angular, Scriptaculous, react, redux,
Knockout, ember, does anyone remember,
It’s just like in the browser wars,
IExplore and Netscape 4,
lodash vs underscore,
and I can’t take it any more!