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Is the Spark View Engine for ASP.NET dead?

I'm considering using it for a new project. I tried to get approved to the Google Groups but nobody would approve me. The last message posted there was in May. I tried emailing the developers but nobody would reply back. I'm not having happy feelings about this using SPARK for a major project of mine at the moment.

Is this project now dead especially after the Razor came out?

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I honestly don't remember Spark having gotten too much actual use even before Razor, unfortunately. I think it's the result of web development being more about cut & pasting others' code than about knowing what you're doing. With a non-conventional view engine, that process becomes difficult. –  Rei Miyasaka Jun 30 '11 at 7:21
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 30 '11 at 6:41

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4 Answers

We use spark where I work. It's one killer feature for us is that the views can be compiled into a javascript function that can be executed in the browser, so we can re-render parts of the view in response to ajax requests, for example. As far as I know, this isn't something Razor can do - you'd need a different set of templates to use with something like jquery templates in the browser. I also imagine people writing more code in razor, since it's so easy, which is something that would drive me nuts.

I just joined the google group and got approved instantly. Maybe try again? If you can't get approved, I would be happy to send a message to the group on your behalf.

Spark has pretty good documentation, so I have never needed to use the google group for anything I can recall. If you have any questions post them on stack overflow. If I can answer them, I will, or I'm sure someone else will. I know there are other people using spark as well.

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"I also imagine people writing more code in razor" -- Most of the devs that are picking up razor are not the "WHERE DA VIEWSTATES AT?" crowd (even if you've pried them off of winforms, they'll be screwing up MVC using webforms as the view engine for a good while before they're forced into using Razor ), so in general if I'm walking onto a project and see Razor being used at this point in time it gives me a warm and fuzzy. –  user29776 Jun 30 '11 at 12:31
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I don't think Spark is dead, or at least I hope it isn't. Otherwise I'm wasting my time maintaining it, fixing bugs, replying to people's requests for help and generally trying to increase its visibility without any help from Microsoft.

Sorry if you haven't had any replies from devs, but I'm not sure who those devs are - I certainly haven't ever received an email from you and I'm the primary developer on the project so I have to assume you didn't try very hard I'm afraid. Joining the group shouldn't be an issue - I just tried it with a different email account and was instantly on, so I'm not sure what the problem is there - sorry.

Spark is fairly mature as a product which means it's documentation is up to date, and most people don't need much. There are a few things in the development pipeline, but nothing urgent, so there isn't much activity on the list. Just today however, I replied to another email so it's still going for sure and any help you'll need will be provided I'm sure.

Just recently, Spark support has been added to both FubuMVC and NancyFx frameworks so I'd say there's life in this old gal yet.

Hope that helps.

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I recently started exploring MVC, and from what I can tell, Microsoft is pushing Razor as THE view engine. It is used in the documentation and seems to be the de facto engine for many of the developers involved with the MVC project. OTOH, Spark is fairly mature, so I doubt it will die off any time soon.

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We've used Spark in 3 or 4 big projects at work which are now all in production. It's great. I've also had quick responses whenever I've posted to the google group.

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