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NFJS: Thoughts on "JavaServer Faces: A Whirlwind Tour"

The first presentation I attended was “JavaServer Faces: A Whirlwind Tour” by David Geary.

Like almost every Java web developer out there, I was working with Struts at one point. It was a dark age for me (and still is for a lot of people!).

I since moved on to use WebWork, and now Stripes. If there’s anything that you can give Struts for, is it really brought the MVC pattern to the forefront. Some might say it demonstrated how not to do a MVC ;).

So what about JSF?

  • A web framework, like Struts
  • Server-side components, like Swing
  • A ‘standardized’ framework, ie included as part of JEE 5.0
  • JSP-based (although, this was highly contended in the expert group, and basically forced by Sun)
  • Low learning curve for Struts developers
  • Several key contributors to Struts eventually found their way to working on JSF

I’m trying to think when my first contact with JSF was, and I think it was near a year and a half ago. We were looking to switch web frameworks, and were considering Tapestry and JSF. We ultimately ended up with Tapestry. The fleeting impressions I still have is that JSF seemed overrought, and looked unwieldly to use unless you were using tools to support it (ie an IDE). At the time, the tools didn’t seem like they were there, which was part of the deciding factor.

So what do I think about JSF now? Well, I might be inclined to at least give a chance.

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