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Machine Learning : Article

AjaxWorld Special: Creating AJAX and Rich Internet Components with JSF

AJAX has gained momentum primarily due to the "XMLHttpRequest" browser object which supports asynchronous communication

A JSF component developer could take advantage of XUL's presentation layer and AJAX for communication, creating a highly interactive component. If the client does not support XUL, the application can dynamically fall back to a non-XUL solution. The application developer will still be able to build one application supporting multiple rendering technologies with one common programming model - JavaServer Faces.

A Page in JSF Supporting XUL and AJAX
The JSF sample shown in Listing 7 illustrates what a page developed with reusable JSF components leveraging XUL and AJAX as rendering technologies can look like.

Apart from the obvious namespaces, the sample contains one namespace that maps to a custom component library - xmlns:bobh=" http://www.bob.org/jsf/html" - and a custom component - <bobh:inputDate ..."/>.

The source of the page is not that different from what we have seen so far with XUL or AJAX, but the main difference is that the Web application developer will not need to learn two ways of supporting Rich Internet Applications in today's browsers.

Summary
This article provides some insight into two of the market's leading view technologies for Rich Internet Applications (RIA) - XUL and AJAX. These technologies have proven that they are more than capable of providing the end user with a highly rich and responsive user interface. We have also touched on the issues with these technologies such as platform support, being non-standards based, and maintenance.

Looking ahead, the potential for JavaServer Faces as a UI component technology is without boundaries. Component developers can provide the community with a wide range of components supporting technologies from HTML to XUL, wireless, and even character-based solutions with the imagination as the only limit.

In future articles, we are going to discuss how to build reusable JSF components that leverage AJAX and XUL.

This article is based on, and contains excerpts from, the book Pro JSF: Building Rich Internet Components by Jonas Jacobi and John Fallows, published by Apress. Book is now on bookstores and Amazon as of February 25, 2006.

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Kaazing is helping define the future of the event-driven enterprise by accelerating the Web for the Internet of Things.

More Stories By John Fallows

John brings to Kaazing his 17 years’ experience in technology development and software design, and is considered a pioneer in the field of rich and highly interactive user interfaces. As CTO he formulates Kaazing Corporation’s vision of enabling mobile users, marketplaces and machines to connect and communicate in real-time, more reliably and at unprecedented scale. He defines the architecture of the Kaazing product suite and oversees its development. Prior to co-founding Kaazing, John served as Architect for Brane Corporation, a startup company based in Redwood City, California. Before joining Brane, he was a Consulting Member of Technical Staff for Server Technologies at Oracle Corporation. During his last five years at Oracle, he focused on designing, developing, and evolving Oracle ADF Faces to fully integrate Ajax technologies. Originally from Northern Ireland, he received his MA in Computer Science from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and has written several articles for leading IT magazines such as Java Developer’s Journal, AjaxWorld Magazine, and JavaMagazine (DE), and is a popular speaker at international conferences. He is co-author of the bestselling book Pro JSF and Ajax: Building Rich Internet Components (Apress).

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