JAX London 2014: A retrospective
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“RichFaces 4 enhances JSF 2. Mobile and HTML5 support planned.”

Jessica Thornsby
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JAXenter speaks to Senior Systems Engineer and Lead RIA Strategist at Exadel, Max Katz.

  • Max Katz

    Max Katz is a Senior Systems Engineer and Lead RIA Strategist at Exadel. Max is a well-known speaker appearing at many conferences, webinars, and JUGs. Max leads Exadel’s RIA and mobile strategy and Exadel open source projects suc as Fiji, Flamingo and JavaFX Plug-in for Eclipse. Max is the community manager for Tiggr (http://gotiggr.com) – web-based application for creating and sharing interative web and mobile HTML prototypes. He has been involved with RichFaces since its inception, publishing numerous articles, providing consulting and training, and authoring the book “Practical RichFaces” (Apress). Max writes about RIA technologies in his blog, http://mkblog.exadel.com, and can be found on Twitter as @maxkatz. Max holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from the University of California, Davis and MBA from Golden Gate University.

Max Katz, Senior Systems Engineer and Lead RIA Strategist at Exadel, will present a RichFaces full day tutorial as well as a talk on RichFaces 4 at the upcoming JAXconf San Jose. In this interview, we talk to Max about the RichFaces 4 release, its influence on the JSF 2 standard and the future of this project. JAXenter: RichFaces 4 was released earlier this year. In your ‘Ajax Applications with JSF 2 and New RichFaces 4′ JAXconf talk, you will cover RichFaces 4 and JSF2. What value does RichFaces 4 add on top of JSF2? Max Katz: RichFaces adds everything you need to build real-world, rich, enterprise applications today. Let’s look at how RichFaces does this one part at a time. RichFaces Core provides a number of additional components for sending an Ajax request as well as request customization features, advanced rendering and execute options, and significant upgrades to the standard JSF client queue. RichFaces UI provides a large number of rich out-of-the-box components, with features such as partial table updates, client-side validation, and a JavaScript API to interact with the component on the client side. RichFaces Skins makes it possible to change the look and feel of the entire application on-the-fly and also supports applying skins to standard JSF and HTML tags. Lastly, RichFaces CDK (Component Development Kit) makes it easy to build your own custom components. Now, the fact that you need to use something like RichFaces to get the full benefit of JSF 2 is not a bad thing. The creators of JSF envisioned a vibrant and active community to provide extra components, features, and customization options for JSF, and that’s exactly what RichFaces does. JAXenter: Several of the features from RichFaces 3 were incorporated in the JSF 2 standards. Do you see any potential for a similar thing happening with RichFaces 4? Max: Absolutely. For example, incorporating a lot of the functionality of the RichFaces 3 <ajax:support> component as the JSF 2 <f:ajax> component was a great addition to JSF 2. In RichFaces 4, there are a number of very important features that would be good candidates such as partial table updates, client-side validation, upgraded client queue, skins, and a number of advanced rendering options. Additional components that send an Ajax request would also be a good addition to the standard. JAXenter: What new features can we expect in the upcoming RichFaces 4.1? Max: One of the main features being considered for RichFaces 4.1 is mobile and HTML 5 support. Other features that might be included are integration with the SeamForge project and some new UI components. The best way to find what’s coming up is to visit RichFaces home page. Also, a number of components from RichFaces 3 didn’t make it into version 4. Some of them didn’t make it because they were too hard to use and needed to be revamped. So, the RichFaces team will revamp these components to make them easier to use and then fold them back into RichFaces. Visit the JAXconf website now, for all the latest info on the conference!
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