Developing applications with Facelets, JSF, and JSP

Dr. Xinyu Lu has published an article on giving an overview of the differences between developing webapps using JSP and JSTL tags, and JSF. This article introduces a rich list of useful tips to help developers smoothly transition from the old-fashioned JSP/servlet programming to the new JSF-style programming. It clarifies the issues and confusion developers may encounter, and promotes best practices and methodologies to simplify web development, improve code reuse, and make source code more designer-friendly, as well as easy-to-maintain.

JavaServer Faces (JSF) is a server-side user interface component framework for Java-based web applications. As a standard web development technology, JSF 1.2 is encapsulated as part of the latest Java EE 5 specification. JSF promotes a component-based, event-driven UI development methodology, independent from any mark-up language, protocol, or client device. Inspired by MVC frameworks like Struts, the JSF API has built-in support for internationalization, localization, data type conversion, and validation. Developing scriptlet-free web pages becomes possible in collaboration with JSTL tags. Recently, AJAX-JSF UI components have gained a lot of attention in Java communities, because they deliver a rich user experience similar to desktop applications and can be used off-the-shelf without requiring deep knowledge of remote scripting in JavaScript. As a view-tier MVC solution, JSF with dependency injection and pluggable APIs can be easily integrated with business-tier technologies like Spring, JBoss Seam, and EJB 3.0. Evidently, the JSF community endeavors to interface JSF with a variety of exciting new technologies. To benefit fully from the great features that JSF and JSP 2.0+ offer, developers must give up their stale JSP/servlet programming style and migrate to the new world of JSF.


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