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Recommended JSF Enhancements for Seam Programming

Seam uses JavaServer Faces (JSF) as its web framework—and for good reason—but JSF has its share of problems and awkwardness. Learn some JSF enhancements that can help you get the most from Seam web projects.

eam uses JavaServer Faces (JSF) as its web framework for many reasons. JSF is a standard technology in Java EE 5.0 and has a large ecosystem of users and vendors. JSF is fully component-based and has a vibrant vendor community for components. It also has a powerful and unified expression language (EL, using the #{...} notation) that can be used in web pages, workflow descriptions, and component configuration files throughout the application.

However, JSF also has its share of problems and awkwardness. It has been criticized for being too verbose, too component-centric (i.e., not transparent to HTTP requests), and relatively slow to correct design issues and add new features. For these reasons, the author team of Seam Framework: Experience the Evolution of Java EE, 2nd Edition strongly recommend that you use the following JSF enhancements:

  • Use the Facelets framework for web pages. Write your web pages as Facelets XHTML files instead of JSP files. Facelets provides many benefits over the standard JSP in JSF.
  • Use the Seam JSF component library for special JSF tags that take advantage of Seam-specific UI features, as well as Seam's extended EL for JSF.
  • Set up Seam filters to capture and manage JSF redirects, error messages, debugging information, and so on.

Download chapter 3 from Seam Framework: Experience the Evolution of Java EE for the details of their recommended JSF enhancements.

This chapter is an excerpt from Seam Framework: Experience the Evolution of Java EE, by Michael Juntao Yuan, Jacob Orshalick and Thomas Heute, published by Prentice Hall Professional, Feb. 2009, ISBN 0137129394, Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. For more info please visit: www.informit.com/title/0137129394. Safari Books Online subscribers can access the book here: http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780137151660.

Michael Juntao Yuan is a researcher, developer, author, and advocate for Java and open source technologies. He is a research associate at the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce at the University of Texas at Austin and the Wireless Java columnist for JavaWorld. Currently, he leads an effort in BuzzPhone.com to develop a series of official blueprint applications for Nokia.
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