JSF and Facelets

Posted by Andrea Nasato Tue, 22 Nov 2005 10:42:00 GMT

One of the main issues with JSF is the plenty of use of custom tags in the view. If you don’t want to use a visual instrument like Java Studio Creator, building a page could become a nightmare, especially if your graphic designer uses a huge amount of html components.

If you ever tried Tapestry you know that with that framework this is not a problem, when you have the html template you have only to put the proper attribute to dynamically rendered tags and it’s all done.

Now also JSF allows you to do that: the project facelets aims to have the same approach used when developing with Tapestry. With facelets you can use templating and write a plain html file as a view.

Facelets is registered in the JSF framework as a ViewHandler, so the only things you have to do to start using facelest are

  • make JSF use facelets as ViewHandler: put those lines in the faces-config.xml
  • import libraries: you have to put in your classpath the facelets implementation jar (jsf-facelets.jar) that you can find in the facelets’ site.
  • modify the DEFAULT_SUFFIX param: facelets pages are simple xhtml files. JSF by default uses jsp files as view, so you have to tell the framework that now the views are the xhtml files. To do this you simply modify your web.xml in this way:

If you don’t want to become crazy with html stuff (your graphic designer is paid enough for this, isn’t it?) and you want to use JSF, try out facelets. If you want to learn more about facelets here you can find an introductive article and here you’ve got the reference documentation.

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