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A Wicket User Revisits JSF

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Peter Thomas recently took a second look at JSF after developing most recently with Wicket. The evaluation was prompted by his recent writing on migrating from Spring MVC / Webflow to Wicket. Many readers of his thoughts on that process were curious if he'd seriously considered JSF. Thomas uses the creation of a simple discussion forum for his comparison of JSF and Wicket. He shows the various portions of the web application side by side including web.xml, dependencies, and business/presentation components of each page. Some of the highlights of his findings:

Project Structure -Wicket does not require any extra XML config like you have faces-config.xml for JSF. It also does not require JSPs.

Footprint and Dependencies - Thomas uses Jetty in his evaluation. Removing JSP support from Jetty for the Wicket version saves over 5MB. JSF has around 3MB of library dependencies compared to the 2MB for Wicket.

Page Complexity - In Wicket complexity moves into Java code. In JSF a large amount of complexity is in the JSP pages themselves.

Comments on Thomas' comparison consider if it is a fair one:

Can you fast forward to 2007? Look at JBoss Seam which makes JSF development much more pleasurable. Don’t get me wrong, I like Wicket and its philosophy but this isn’t a fair comparison to modern day JSF, especially with a trivial example as you’ve shown.

Another reader writes however:

Excellent article. I’ve worked with both technologies, but seeing them side-by-side like this was very easy to follow and clear to read. While some of the vendor-specific technologies mentioned above might make JSF easier, I think your comparison was fair.

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