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From "Ray Clough" <>
Subject Re: [friday] Re: Struts2 vs JSF
Date Fri, 29 Feb 2008 23:08:29 GMT
I have quite a lot of experience with S2 and JSF which I'd like to share.  Although on many
levels the technologies are different, we have managed to make them work together with profound
benefits to each.  

First a caveat:  our use of JSF as served from S2 is in a limited fashion.  There are things
we haven't tried because we haven't needed them.  There may be things which wouldn't work
with this technique.  Our use is primarily as a reporting engine.  We use S2 to manage all
the 'control' functions of the MVC cycle.  There are no beans or navigation rules in the faces-config
file.  We have produced a clear separation of the Model functionality from the Struts functions,
with Struts merely retrieving the model objects and placing them into Session storage.  Then
the model objects are queried from a JSP page, which causes the model to 'export' itself to
JSF components.  The model components have zero getters/setters, except a method 'getData()'
which triggers the export process, and returns a jsf 'UIComponent'.  The export process consists
of creating the JSF 'UIComponent' in code, very similarly to the way you'd make pages in Swing
(assuming that you are not using a totally lame graphic page generator).  Then the completed
component is rendered by a single jsf tag on the page.  Any submittals, which in JSF are to
some funky url, are redirected by javascript to the correct S2 url.  This was the main problem
until we figured out how to fix it.

When I started designing the app I envisioned using standard JSP functionality to produce
the pages, including the use of the S2 tags.  However I really hated the S2 tags (I still
believe that they are somewhat below horrible in the panoply of functionality).  A co-worker
suggested working around this with JSF, and as a result the app is much stronger than I ever

The app does not use the struts-jsf plugin, and also uses tiles, again not using the struts-tiles
plugin.  We have found that the use of these plugins is really limiting, and we are much better
off with independent installations of both these functions in our app.  It would be nice to
have a good struts-jsf function, but my impression is that there is not much being done with
the plugin lately (I could be wrong, of course).  As it works out, the configuration of all
the services is quite demanding, but perfectly straightforward once you have figured things

In short, we have had excellent results with JSF with S2.  We use the JSF components from
Trinidad, and they are first rate - with built in table sorting, paging, etc all using Ajax
behind the scenes.  S2 is a superior 'Control' component, but not really great at 'View'.
 With the proper approach, they are perfectly compatible.  (Too bad Shale seems moribund).

- Ray Clough

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dave Newton" <>
> To: "Struts Users Mailing List" <>
> Subject: Re: [friday] Re: Struts2 vs JSF
> Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 14:24:26 -0800 (PST)
> --- Musachy Barroso <> wrote:
> > Search for "Snatch fight" in youtube, and you will get a felling of
> > what Struts 2 would do to JSF in a fight :)
> I was *really* scared to see what that would bring up ("snatch", in the US,
> is a somewhat derogatory term for... uh... female parts).
> Turns out it was just a scene from the movie "Snatch", so it was all okay.
> Dave
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- Ray Clough

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