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Split Pane effect with JSF 1.2, Facelets, Javascript, RichFaces  RSS feed

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This is a follow up on my previous post and describes the root problem I'm trying to solve.

I'm working on a JSF project using JSF 1.2 (the implementation that comes bundled with JBoss 4.2.0 GA), Facelets and JBoss RichFaces/Ajax4JSF.

I basically want to render a page with a nav area and a content area. The content area is to be split in two horizontal areas. The upper horizontal area needs to be a table with scrollable data. When the user clicks a table row, I want to refresh the bottom area with details about the row just clicked. From a UI perspective, it's very similar to yahoo email/outlook... with the top pane showing a list, and the bottom pane showing details.
I've used RichFaces for the data table and panel type tags and facelets for breaking up the JSF's into content and templates. The template looks like:

Inside the clusterList.xhtml page, I have:

The inputText object (id=rowid) originally was a h:inputHidden object. I find this behaving more or less as expected, with the clusterBean.current field being correctly updated when the row is clicked... but this is true only for Firefox and Safari 3.1.1. On IE7, I see the inputText object being changed by the javascript function, but after submission, when the page returns, inputText is empty, and clusterBean.current still null.

Any ideas what's going on? Alternately, any other ideas on how to achieve this functionality?

Many thanks,
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