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From "Frank W. Zammetti" <>
Subject RE: Is Struts still a better choice over JSF as on today ?
Date Thu, 26 Jul 2007 17:45:21 GMT
On Thu, July 26, 2007 1:23 pm, souravm wrote:
> For me so far I don't see any reason why people should go for JSF except
> for moving ahead with a standard. As such I don't even see much use of
> event handling at UI layer - I always like to keep UI layer simple.

But remember that something can be a standard and still not be
successful... I wouldn't say that EJBs were unsuccessful, but it's
certainly true that people were looking for alternatives almost from the
beginning.  Witness how quickly Spring gained popularity for instance
(note that I'm talking pre-EJB3, which seems to have gotten a ton better).

As for event handling on the UI, I do have to disagree there.  I think
when you start doing a lot of RIA work, event handling is a big
consideration.  It's one of the reasons I eased up on my JSF criticisms
some months ago... while I still think there's better alternatives, it
does offer some value in that area, and I think it's an important area.

> Now knowing that you have already seen some projects where JSF was used
> here are my couple of Qs -
> a) What made them to go for JSF ?

I've seen three projects that went with JSF, none of which I was involved
in day-to-day development on... with one I know the decision was simply as
you said, because JSF is a "standard", and someone thought that was enough
of a reason to go with it :)  I can tell you that while that project
ultimately delivered, it had a ton of pain along the way, more so than if
it had gone with something better known, that was the conclusion at the
end.  I wasn't intimately involved with that project so I don't know all
the details, but I do know that some developers I trust said JSF was a
headache for them the whole time, even when the learning curve was
overcome (that's not necessarily a criticism of JSF mind you, it may well
be that it just wasn't the right choice for that particular case).

The other two projects went with JSF because the idea of a component-based
framework is attractive to many (myself included for the most part).  They
generally went alright, no huge complaints or anything.  I was again not
involved in day-to-day development of those, but I didn't hear any big
complaints.  Interestingly, one of them is now being rewritten using AJAX
under Struts 1.2.7 and using a handful of component libraries (YUI, Dojo
and APT).  The reason for the rewrite: the JSF version had become a pain
to maintain (this was a case of the generated code having to be mucked
with to get it right, and it turned into a big, heaping plate of spaghetti
in the process).  This again isn't necessarily a criticism of JSF because
it may well be that it just wasn't developed well in the first place, but
these are the facts of the case, draw what conclusions from it you may :)

The one conclusion I draw from this last experience is that if you use RAD
tools and are fortunate enough to never have to mess with the code, JSF is
probably no worse than anything else, and probably has some nice benefits.
 The first time you have to touch the code though, you may be heading down
a road you don't want to travel.  Me, I don't trust *any* tool to generate
code *that* much!

> b) What type of RAD tool was used (if at all) ?

One of them used no RAD tools at all (interestingly, it was the one that
seemed to go the smoothest and isn't be rewritten), the other two used
Java Studio Creator.  I can't give you any meaningful feedback on that
tool though... I've played with it a little, didn't think anything
particularly good or bad about it from that admittedly limited experience.
 I'm very much a text editor kind of guy, so my opinions are frankly
tainted by experience hand-coding JSF (which, to be honest, hasn't been
all *that* bad really, but I've never done a truly substantial JSF
application personally, I've only watched others do so).

> Regards,
> Sourav


Frank W. Zammetti
Founder and Chief Software Architect
Omnytex Technologies
AIM/Yahoo: fzammetti
Author of "Practical Ajax Projects With Java Technology"
 (2006, Apress, ISBN 1-59059-695-1)
and "JavaScript, DOM Scripting and Ajax Projects"
 (2007, Apress, ISBN 1-59059-816-4)
Java Web Parts -
 Supplying the wheel, so you don't have to reinvent it!

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