Saturday, May 13, 2006

JSF dirty little secrets

I've been working pretty intensively with JSF for the last couple of weeks on a couple of different projects. I usually read a couple of books before I dig into a technology in order to get a good understanding of how it works, how it does things, etc. So, a couple of months ago, I read 2 books on JSF, looked at a couple of tutorials, and gave it a shot. The first couple of apps were pretty straightforward, and since I never did anything particularly complicated, it worked OK. This time around, the sh*t really hit the fan.. Not that I was doing anything particularly complicated, but it was outside of the "really easy" stuff that is in all the tutorials and books... And all of I sudden, I started finding these "dirty little secrets" that each technology has, that one hopes to either never encounter, or to possibly be able to find a half-decent solution. I really would like to learn more about it, but I was surprised very unpleasantly to start hitting these roadblocks so early in learning about the technology.. I mean, JSF was supposed to make the developers' lives easier... and that is the case for 10% of the most trivial cases..

The other thing that really bugs me is the amount and depth of material that is covered in the JSF books that I have... ("Core JSF" and "JSF in Action"). I mean that it seems that the authors intentionally picked up examples that were in the 10% "easy" zone, where none of the ugliness shows.. I mean, I would have thought that in an effort to make their books useful, the authors would try to cover a few examples that go beyond the trivial stuff. Now, it's not like they don't show you any of the "advanced" stuff like building your own components.. they do, but the basic stuff is really so basic and they don't give examples or useful workaround to the middle of the road practical problems that one encounters...

I will go back to the example that I spent a lot of time on.. and I will try to post the problem, solution, and the explanation..