Monday, May 08, 2006

Giving JSF Another Shot

Leaving my opinions on other web frameworks aside, I am going to give JSF another shot. JSF, to me, is one of those technologies that reared its head as the next best thing. And at first glance it was nice. There was the big promise of tool support. I still have yet to see one I really like. But I don't typically like tools that write all my code for me anyway. If I did, I'd use .NET.

After a while though, I started to see the short-comings of JSF. There are issues with JSF and JSP and how the component tree is slapped together. There is the whole back button issue. No true Post back checking ability. But I think my biggest problem with JSF isn't the specification's bugs and/or failures. It's the way it was thrown at me. Sun said, "Here is the next standard" and a lot of the community said "Okay". Interestingly, I think the Struts maintainers adopting JSF for Shale is more likely to push it as a standard than Sun bullying it on me, but only because of Strut's reputation. I've looked at Shale. It still has a ways to go. Config file are really out of control. But that is another story.

With JSF 1.2 lingering around the corner and with projects like Facelets, I think JSF deserves another hard look. MyFaces has really come a long way and the inclusion of ADF Faces components are really going to give that project a super sweet component set.

JSF's role as the new standard for Java based web applications remains still to be seen, even after all this time. And a standard should be determined by the technologies adoption in the community, not by the entity that created said technology.

1 comment:

Bob Lee said...

Struts actually has two separate but equal sub projects: Shale which compliments JSF and Action 2 which is based on WebWork. Action 2 just kicked off, but if you don't like JSF, keep an eye on it.