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From Ronald Holshausen <>
Subject Re: [OT] JSF Interface Design - Is it Truly Limited?
Date Mon, 14 Nov 2005 09:25:44 GMT
Hi Mike,

I have switched from struts to JSF for our companies product
development, as I can say that JSF is totally CSS oriented. Each
control has a CSS class as a property, and a lot of the tomahawk
components provide their own base CSS classes by default (have a look
at the tabbed pane from tomahawk as an example).

I agree with you about the mock-ups. With our development, the process
starts with the graphic artists who do the demos and new product
concepts in pure html and CSS with tools like Dreamweaver, etc. Then
the developers convert the HTML to JSPs and write the backing java.
This works the same with struts and JSF.

Have a look at the clay component from shale, as this supports this
type of development process more fully as you could then use the
generated HTML from the graphic artists directly, just add some ids
much like Tapestry does.

On 12/11/05, Gary VanMatre <> wrote:
> > I know there are some leading edge JSF and Shale gurus who monitor this list. I
> > have a basic
> > question: Can rich web application interfaces be created in JSF?
> >
> > I've looked at MyFaces and Tomahawk ( The source
> > code that can be
> > found in the examples at is perplexing. I
> > see data tables,
> > panel groups, and panel grids for the page layout. I do not see standards based
> > CSS design. I
> > don't see how you could create rich web application interfaces with externalized
> > styles using JSF
> > components.
> >
> > I know the concept is that JSF components can be "rendered" for different
> > viewing devices;
> > however, I'm not sure the creators of JSF really thought through the process of
> > how most web
> > applications are created. I think the usual case is that a mock up of the web
> > interface is
> > created by marketing execs and web designers, then that mock up is "wired" by
> > software engineers
> > (in our case we use Struts for the wiring). CSS design is very advanced (see:
> > It is unrealistic to think companies are going
> > to retrain their
> > web designers on a new technology that is less capable then the one they are
> > currently using.
> >
> > As a specific example, the use of such tags in JSF as,
> > "
> " is
> > horrible.
> >
> > I think JSF has missed the mark. Rather than tossing out Struts I think Sun
> > should have enhanced
> > Struts by creating a simple process for plugging in web components (perhaps some
> > sort of enhanced
> > Tiles strategy) and they should have also enhanced Struts by adding a better
> > page flow process
> > (similar to Spring WebFlow).
> >
> I think that if you take a better look at JSF, you might see Struts, Spring and a reusable
visual component framework.  To see this you have to look beyond the basic semantics.  So,
maybe a forward is called a navigation rule and validation is component based verses form
> I've always seen Struts as building blocks for the rest of the application.  It provides
the foundation, a starting point.  Each shop seems to pick and choose different extension
points to exploit.
> JSF provides the same model where extension points in the framework are configured via
a configuration file.  The framework guts can be swapped with a side of a configuration files.
 JSF expands on this by providing an API for building visual components that have characteristics
of event oriented programming in a request response architecture.  The component API is a
starting point.
> The fact that the reference implementation delivers a number of vanilla components is
a strength but maybe a weakness.  The component API should be seen as building blocks and
not as absolute offering.  I don't think that Struts would have lead as many projects to success
if the developers could not have seen how to take advantage of is swappable parts.
> > One of the most promising projects for web application frameworks is a project
> > named, "Clarity"
> > ( The goal of this project is to
> > consolidate and
> > enhance existing frameworks. I hope this is the path to nirvana.
> >
> > I like the JSF concept of pluggable components. My major problem with JSF is
> > the design strategy
> > that states an application is a collection of components and these components
> > have renderers for
> > different devices. I suppose that you could try to wrap CSS design around
> > "" tags if you
> > are creating a web application, but this seems contrary to the JSF model.
> >
> > Please share some guiding thoughts. Especially, if you have a link to some cool
> > example pages
> > created with JSF, I'd like to see them.
> >
> You might take a look at the Shale "rolodex" usecases.  You will see some fun CSS action
delivered using a JSF view.  It's all done using only two custom components and  a few JSF
extension points, the rest is vanilla RI.
> > Thx.
> >
> > Mike
> >
> Gary
> >
> >
> > __________________________________
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> >
> >
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