Hobione's Weblog

Living & Breathing in Web 2.0 Era

JSF Drag and Drop (DnD), JBoss Tools 2.0, RichFaces (ajax4jsf):

I chatted with Max Katz, Senior Systems Engineer at Exadel. We have talked about building JSF applications with DnD. JBoss offers JBoss Developer Studio 1.0 or JBoss Tools 2.0. This IDE let you DnD for simple applications but for any complex applications, you have to know manipulate codes. One good thing JBoss Developer Studio/JBoss Tools offers to preview code and it also leverage you to use RichFaces rich components in the IDE (Netbeans does not have a plug-in for RichFaces, no plan in near future). I also asked the differences between IceFaces and RichFaces. To answer to that he said, IceFaces is more proprietary than RichFaces.

HH: How would you compare with Sun’s Woodstock and RichFaces?

MK: In general, RichFaces has been around much longer. This means much
larger user base, more components, more stable, more support and
information available. There are lots of companies that use RichFaces in

HH: How flexible RichFaces 3.1 to work with other component libraries like Trinidad/ADF Faces or Sun’s Woodstock 4.0. In our upcoming project, we need to show Gantt charts, graphs and ADF Faces already has components like that, how easy it would be to bring that component in to RichFaces?

MK: It should work. RichFaces doesn’t do anything *not* to allow you to mix and match other JSF components.
My recommendation is to pick just one library and use it. Mixing and matching component might sound like a great “feature”, but in reality you might create more problems than solutions.

HH: When is the next RichFaces scheduled to release? Any major improvements in the next release?
MK: http://jboss.com/index.html?module=bb&op=viewtopic&t=104575

The main differences between JBoss Developer Studio 1.0 and JBoss Tool 2.0:

JBoss Developer Studio 1.0 is cost $99.00 but with exactly same features JBoss Tool 2.0 is free, imagine that.

RichFaces 3.1 Important Links:

  1. RichFaces home
  2. Forum
  3. Live Demo
  4. Documentations (Great documentation)
  5. JBoss Tool 2.0 start up guide
  6. Why JBoss Developer Studio, and why you should care?

RichFaces Related Links:
Three RIA Tools Examined: JSF, Flex and JavaFX by Max Katz

Example of a JSF + Richfaces application: dVision

Happy Birthday, Ajax4Jsf (RichFaces)

Webnar: (October 30, 2007)

Building Rich Internet Applications with JBoss Rich Faces Webinar with Max Katz Available Online (Red Hat)

Other Links:

Gavin King’s JSF wish list for JEE 6
Adopting a Java Persistence Framework: Which, When, and What?

JSF/Web Tools:

Selenium IDE: Browser compatibility testing.

Selenium Remote Control is a test tool that allows you to write automated web application UI tests in any programming language against any HTTP website using any mainstream JavaScript-enabled browser:

JSFUnit is a test framework for JSF applications:

EasyMock provides Mock Objects for interfaces in JUnit tests by generating them on the fly using Java’s proxy mechanism. Due to EasyMock’s unique style of recording expectations, most refactorings will not affect the Mock Objects. So EasyMock is a perfect fit for Test-Driven Development.


Seam Books: Recommended by Gavin King (Founder of Hibernate project and Seam Project Lead).

1. Seam: Simplicity & Beyond with Java EE – Michael Yuan

2. Practical JBoss Seam Project – Jim Farley

3. Beginning JBoss Seam: From Novice to Professional – Joseph Faisal Nusairat

February 26, 2008 - Posted by | Java Server Faces, Jboss RichFaces (Ajax4JSF)


  1. When Max says “IceFaces is more proprietary than RichFaces”, what he really means is “ICEfaces is more transparent than RichFaces”, allowing the Java developer to work with standard JSF to develop RIAs, and expect the framework to handle underlying Ajax interactions. With RichFaces you need to add markup to wire together the Ajax interactions between components on the page, burdening page designers with complexities that they should not have to deal with. So, really RichFaces is farther from the pure JSF programming model than ICEfaces, making it less standard, and oops, more proprietary. Now how can that be??

    Also, ICEfaces is more mature than RichFaces, or Woodstock.


    Comment by Stephen Maryka | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks Steve for your comments. But again, Max said, both component libraries are good, so pick one and go with it.
    I have seen your awesome IceFaces Demo in Java One 2007, I loved it. Do you have any comments on Woodstock component libraries?



    Comment by hobione | February 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. Let’s not forget Seam in Action in the list of recommended Seam books ;) Early access is available now and it should be in stores by mid-summer.

    Comment by Dan Allen | April 26, 2008 | Reply

  4. As a complete Java web novice (our clients like a swing front end to our J2EE apps) I found Seam in Action to not be very useful to me as a first book for seam. I use the EJB3 stuff daily and Jboss 4.2.3 and 5.0 but I was having a really hard time plugging it into web pages other then using remote interfaces. I had never programmed with JSF or JSP (other then years ago, that one page they have you write in college, so they can say they taught it to you). The narritive was great but it was short on small complete examples I could get working.

    The 2 books that really turned things around for me and is allowing me to turn a lot of my companies apps into fully functional web sites using our existing business logic are:

    “Seam Framework: Experience The Evolution Of JavaEE, Second Edition” by Michael Juntao Yuan, Jacob Orshalick, and Thomas Heute


    “Core JavaSever(tm) Faces, Second Edition” by David Geary and Cay Horstmann

    between the two of them I was able to find some sort of WORKING example of just about every piece of functionality our apps would need as well as being able to implement a lot of the “wish list” functionality our clients had talked about at the inception of our projects.

    As for icefaces vs richfaces, I liked what I have seen from icefaces but as a newbie I have had more luck using richfaces if only because of the tooling support in the JBoss Developers Studio I finally broke down and got after trying to get tools to work with MyEclipse and my other plugins we require and failing miserably for months. Best 100 dollars I ever spent. I realize that is not a good enough reason to use one or the other but if you are just starting out then I bet a lot of people use the “whichever one I got the example to work for me first” approach to discrimination.


    Comment by Grant | July 12, 2009 | Reply

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