When comparing Play Framework vs web2py, the Slant community recommends Play Framework for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Play Framework is ranked 7th while web2py is ranked 19th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Asynchronous Core
Pro Interoperable with Java
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Pro Good documentation and a great community
Play has quite a large community which provides numerous tutorials and videos related to developing with Play.
The Play official documentation covers many things, such as the framework itself but also specific stuff such as Akka, SBT and Netty.
There are also many big companies that base their main sites around Play, one of them is LinkedIn which provides third-party documentation on a regular basis.
Pro Play is an extensive ecosystem
Play uses Akka for concurrency, Scala for a templating engine, Netty as a client-server framework and SBT (Simple Build Tool) for building. And they all come out of the box.
Play also comes with the option to scaffold your applications. Play is an all-embracing ecosystem designed to increase developer productivity and shorten development times.
Pro Simple for beginners
Play is very simple to get started. The documentation is very helpful for beginners and advanced users alike and the official website has a great "Getting Started" tutorial to begin developing with Play.
Pro Good Websocket Support
Pro Readable code
Play framework's convention over configuration methodology makes most Play projects have a very similar structure. This means that the code written for the framework is very readable. This enables a developer to switch between applications without having to relearn the ecosystem for every project. The built-in templating system also helps with code and makes it possible to have a very low count of lines of code.
Pro Can use Java, one of the most widely known languages
Java is one of the most widely known languages, so people coming from that background can jump right in and not have to learn a new language syntax.
Pro Documentation is written in form of a book which is good for beginners
web2py documentation does not follow the common pattern of using Sphinx, MkDocs or ReadTheDocs which is goos for exeperienced developers. Although documentation in form of a book is very easy and good for beginners. Turning web2py the most easy and comprehensive framework to learn and also to teach.
Pro Web2py apps run on GAE, AWS, VPNs, PythonAnywhere, etc
Web2py apps are designed to be portable. With some minor restrictions web2py apps can run on any VPS on SQL databases and/or Mongo, as well as on Google App Engine with the Google Datastore. It is truly code ones and run everywhere. For example at Camio.com we use web2py internally to access a GAE datastore which contains more images than Instagram.
Pro User support
The web2py community is open and friendly and it gives concrete support to newbies and old timers. It's not difficult to get answers from the BDFL Massimo Di Pierro himself.
Pro Maintainable over time
One really positive aspect of web2py application is their maintainability over the years. Old code works even if the framework is updated to the latest version. Not only that, if code is written well it is very short and a new team can pick it up over in little time.
Pro PyCharm supports web2py
While web2py has its own web based IDE which is convenient, it works with WinIDE, PyCharm, and Eclipse. The first two explicitly support web2py. The latter requires some configuration.
Pro Easy to learn without losing any power
web2py is very easy to learn for beginners, yet it has a great deal of power and flexibility as application needs become more complex. It includes an impressively comprehensive set of features, making development very productive without the need to integrate a lot of third-party libraries.
Pro Can be tuned to be really fast in production
The framework is really fast in production after some optimization and fine tuning which can minimize the memory footprint in order to make it run on a really small VPS or slice.
Pro No need to import the API to access the models and controllers context at every request
Models and controllers live in the context of the HTTP request. So the developer does not have to import the API to access this context at every request.
In other words, the models, controllers and templates in web2py use a domain specific language which uses pure web2py syntax and allows to import any module but exposes a few additional objects.
Pro Includes a web-based IDE for creating and managing applications
web2py includes an "admin" app that serves as a web-based IDE for web2py applications. It includes many features, such as application creation, compiling, and packaging; an error ticketing system; a code editor; a debugger; a controller doctest runner; Git and Mercurial integration; and one-click deployment to PythonAnywhere, Google App Engine, and OpenShift.
It is not intended as a full desktop IDE replacement, but it includes some helpful web2py specific functionality and can be convenient for basic editing and debugging tasks and quick prototyping, even for those who primarily work with a more full-featured desktop IDE or editor.
Pro web2py supports the classic editor Vim
Pro Easily extendable
Allows users to easily extend functionality by using external libraries.
Con Not as many resources to learn
Other languages and frameworks have countless tutorials, books, moocs, etc. Java and Play does not have nearly as much.
Con Backward incompatibility
The jump from Play 1 to Play 2.x caused a lot of confusion. While it is important to have some kind of evolution, sometimes it causes backward incompatibility which can create some problems. It makes tutorials or modules made for the old version obsolete. This can make it hard for beginners to find useful resources. The template engine which used Groovy now uses Scala.
Con The web IDE is not a full-featured IDE
web2py includes an "admin" app that serves as a web-based IDE for web2py applications. It includes many features, such as application creation, compiling, and packaging; an error ticketing system; a code editor; a debugger; a controller doctest runner; Git and Mercurial integration; and one-click deployment to PythonAnywhere, Google App Engine, and OpenShift. However, particularly with regard to code editing and debugging and version control integration, it is not as full-featured as some of the more popular desktop IDEs such as PyCharm. So, developers expecting a PyCharm-like experience may be somewhat disappointed. In any case, use of the web-based IDE is completely optional.