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Is JSF Worth the Effort?

 
andrew pierce
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I have read many comments online that JSF is "demoware". In other words, it was created by Sun to compete with Microsoft's ability to demonstrate how "easy" it is to build a user interface using .NET. People in the know seem to think JSF is poorly implemented and other frameworks such as Spring MVC and Struts 2.0 are better approaches. Is JSF worth the time and effort to learn or are the other frameworks more usable?
 
Julian Eduardo de Anquin
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I've been wondering the same. And, whats the big diference between jsf and Struts for example.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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So who gauges the answer to this question? If I said JSF is worth the effort, does that make it so? What if James Holmes, Chris Schalk, or Ed Burns said it's worth the effort, does that make it so? James Gosling?

The effort to payoff ratio for any technology is different for everyone. I currently work for a company that won't use JSF. So for us, it's not worth the effort. Your situation may be different. It may be worth more to you as another frameork to toss half hazardly onto your resume, it may not.

And, whats the big diference between jsf and Struts for example.

Read the upteen million posts on Google and this site, and you'll find your answer. It's been asked many, many times.
 
Chris Schalk
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JSF is definitely not demoware. First of all it was not created by Sun. It was created by the JCP which was comprised of a collection of companies IBM, Oracle, Sun and several others along with independent Java experts.

It was created not necessarily to battle .Net specifically, but to provide a more sophisticated infrastructure for J2EE Web interfaces. Before JSF you really had to resort to your own cooking for building more sophisticated UIs. The original Faces architects brought a lot of experience into the design process. For example Craig McClanahan - the creator of Struts - worked on the 1.0 spec, Adam Winer of Oracle, provided a lot of great input. Adam provided his vast experience from working on UIX which was an Oracle applications Web UI technology that allowed apps developers to efficiently build UIs from components. (For Oracle, UIX is now deprecated because Faces now provides the technology needed for component based J2EE Web UI development. UIX is now ADF Faces - and significant portions of it have been open-sourced as project Trinidad of MyFaces.)

JSF is also not intended to be developed purely from an IDE. It is true that the architects had IDEs in mind when it was developed, but the Faces technology does in no way require an IDE. In fact Chapter 2 shows exactly how to get started with JSF in a pure minimalist manner without an IDE. It's simply a matter of downloading the jar files and your off and running.

My advice is if you have an interest in JSF, don't worry if you see random gossip about JSF being demoware, it's definitely not. Go ahead and try it for yourself. If you don't want to use an IDE - no worries - one isn't needed. If you do want to try Faces with an IDE, there are plenty to try out and some are even free!

Hope that helps..

-Chris
 
andrew pierce
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In hindsight, the initial question was quite subjective. However, when one looks at the "framework landscape", it can be overwhelming. Spending several months learning and evaluating each one can be nearly impossible. To be honest, my company is pretty much exclusively .NET. I am kinda the Java pioneer and I'd love to be able to lead others down the path of enlightenment. Unfortunately, I have a hard time seeing which path is the right one.

Between JSF, Spring MVC, and Struts, I've spent more time with JSF than any of them. Unfortunately not enough to have mastered it.

Thanks again for the additional information and comments.
 
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