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RSF released with support for DWR-style Ajax

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The Reasonable Server Faces (RSF) project recently released version 0.7.2. RSF is a web framework based on Spring and covering much of the same ground as JSF. RSF advocates zero server state designs.

RSF started out in life as a set of utility libraries for JSF which aimed to make JSF development easier. Antranig Basman, Project Lead for RSF, describes these libraries and how RSF moved away from JSF:

These were actually quite similar in functionality to what is now called “Facelets”, only with the notable difference of the improvement in navigation transparency provided through the (now RSF) “ViewParameters” class. This issue is now being attacked in JSF through an independent route by Spring Web Flow.

Unfortunately after painful soul-searching, we were forced to conclude that the benefits we desired really could not be delivered with the JSF framework, despite the considerable community advantages that could be gained by this route

The core principles of RSF as described on their Philosophy page are:

  • Primacy of Markup
  • Universal portability
  • Natural web idiom

With this release they have added the UVB which provides similar functionality as DWR as well as extensions to the rendering model so that any section of markup can be reused.

There have been some spirited discussions with this release and the previous one about the differences between RSF and Wicket and the importance of clean markup. Basman also describes the differences between RSF and Facelets as:

although it is a considerable improvement on previous schemes for drawing up JSF views, it still suffers from the basic problem that I referred to that “control ends at the taglib boundary”. Whilst Facelets gives control over the overall setting of a view, it gives no control over the markup for what is traditionally called “components”.

For the next release of RSF, they are focusing on client-side validation and portalization.

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