PHP : The only choice for front end development?

Is it the only option?

In a recent chat with a ex-colleague we were discussing how hard it might be to find a front end developer who can also use Java. They rightly pointed out that there are a lot more design oriented front end developers using PHP. This reminded me of Jeff Atwood's post on The PHP Singularity where he talks about how the only option is to invent something that is so much better that it's use is not even a question.

This is also relevant because I have been evaluating Java page template technologies like the play framework. Most of the options like that are very similar to template frameworks from other languages. On a personal note, I am not a great fan of these due to the tag soup issues they seem to promote.

While the search continues most of the current stack I am using is a minimal non template approach similar to the work from Apache on wicket. Perhaps the need to get other front end orientated developers involved in current projects will force the requirement but let's hope that I can find someone at Silicon Milk Roundabout that can read Java and create usable and attractive UIs

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