Java Server Faces (JSF) has been the right product at the wrong time for a while now. What will be its fate in 2007? Will it possibly be a leader and a technology of choice for client side development?
JSF came at a time when JSP and similar technologies were popular among web application developers. JSF tried to bring the learnings from desktop client UI development to the web. It initiated the possibility of creation of reusable widgets and controls. It provided a sophisticated event model and provided effective management of the round-trip request response cycle.
However, JSF for a while was merely a framework. As implementations and interpretations emerged, the world had moved miles ahead and AJAX had conquered the web2.0 client UI space. Then came the paradigm that AJAX with JSF was not only possible but also a best practice and a way to get the best of both worlds - AJAX and Java together. While many Java developers adopted this paradigm and the followers are growing, its current form with AJAX does appear like a strategy in hindsight and an afterthought.
Some frameworks like JBoss Seam and Apache Shale have provided the missing pieces in the JSF puzzle and commercial vendors have come up with multiple implementations and IDE support. However, the Java camp still looks a little confused about the future of the UI technology. I am positive many people would comment aggressively against this remark and many may even try and justify the contrary, but please remember that this is only my opinion and I am an ardent Java fan and I do believe what I am saying here. I would be happy to hear convincing arguments that disprove me.
So far whatever I have said it pretty much the past, but what about the future. What would JSF be like in 2007 or will there be a new J* UI technology that would replace it or will Java Applets reincarnates flourish or will we keep guessing about it all year long?
Happy New Year!
Joseph Ottinger, Theserverside.com editor, started the same discussion by quoting this blog entry. Check it out at http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=43705
There are some interesting responses/comments there as well.