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"JSF Good!" Says Rick Hightower

"I have been bitten by the event-driven bug," he adds

Related Links:
  • Java Opinions: Geary vs Raible on JavaServer Faces

    I used AppFuse and Spring together extensibly on two projects earlier this year with a lot of success. I added Spring support before it was part of the AppFuse core (for my projects). I have a lot of respect for Matt Raible's opinions. Matt is an awesome, dedicated technologist. I don't agree with him about JSF.

    My last project that I finished was JSF + Spring + Hibernate on Tomcat 5 similar to AppFuse foundation, but using JSF. Matt has done some JSF + Spring work for the Spring book, and for a client. JSF is not part of AppFuse yet. I think once it is, he might have a different opinion.

    I really dig JSF. I found it a lot more productive than Struts. I was amazed how fast I could crank things out. At the time, I did the project the JSF Spring integration was not working well so I skipped it. I used a base class for my JSF backing beans that looked up their corresponding business delegates. Other than that road bump, things went really well. JSF exceeded my expectations.

    Now I cheated a bit. I wrote a JSF course and taught it several times before I worked on a JSF project. I also worked on a few small iterations on a few projects before doing an entire project in JSF (small project but still). I also consulted and helped architect a few JSF applications before I wrote one on my own. So.my experience...

    The learning curve may be stiffer for starting out. When I wrote the course there were not any good JSF books out yet. Writing a course is a good way to learn how to do things. I improved the course based on my project experience, re-reading the spec., and reading every JSF book published. David Geary's book is an excellent reference, and I highly recommend it.

    So how did my first project with JSF go....? My guess is that the same project would have taken twice as long if I did it with Struts instead of JSF because it was a fairly rich application (custom sorting, post backs to populate list boxes, auto populate fields based on user actions, etc.). JSF is much more natural than Struts. I think WebWork, and Spring MVC are improvements on Struts Model 2 MVC, but I have been bitten by the event-driven bug. The only other framework I would consider using instead of JSF would be Tapestry. In short, I dig JSF.

    Apparently it is popular to bash Sun and J2EE. JSF does not deserve it.

    I still respect Matt's opinion, and I am very grateful for AppFuse.

    For me the killer stack is JSF + Hibernate + Spring. The verdict is still out on Tapestry (I need more experience with it).


    Related Links:
  • Java Opinions: Geary vs Raible on JavaServer Faces
  • More Stories By Rick Hightower

    Rick Hightower serves as chief technology officer for ArcMind Inc. He is coauthor of the popular book Java Tools for Extreme Programming, which covers applying XP to J2EE development, and also recently co-authored Professional Struts. He has been working with J2EE since the very early days and lately has been working mostly with Maven, Spring, JSF and Hibernate. Rick is a big JSF and Spring fan. Rick has taught several workshops and training courses involving the Spring framework as well as worked on several projects consulting, mentoring and developing with the Spring framework. He blogs at http://jroller.com/page/RickHigh.

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