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“RichFaces 4 enhances JSF 2. Mobile and HTML5 support planned.”

Jessica Thornsby

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

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

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.

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