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Clearing Up JSF 1.2 JSF 1.1 and MyFaces Confusion (Updated)

Posted by edburns on September 19, 2005 at 2:30 PM PDT

A couple of weeks ago, Rick Hightower asked some pointed questions
and made some interesting assertions about JSF 1.2, JSF 1.1 and MyFaces
in his href="">blog
. This blog entry is a response to that blog.

I'd like to address some of these questions and assertions in light
of Rick's blog.

  1. What's deal with JSF and Open Source? Exactly what was
    open sourced on href="">24
    August 2005? Why was this done?

    I know it sounds like marketing spin and all that, but,
    really, href="">Sun does
    understand the value of sharing for its investors,
    customers, and employees. It takes a long time to style="color: black; font-weight: normal ;text-decoration: none"
    href="">open things up that
    have been closed for a while. We started by moving all of our
    development and processes out into the open href="">back
    in June of 2004. While the process was open, the
    licensing for the code was not. Sun followed up by releasing
    the source code and processes for developing our Java EE App
    Server in href="">July
    of 2005, and shortly thereafter we relicensed the source
    code for Sun's implementation of JSF 1.2 under the OSI
    approved CDDL license.

    To summarize, Sun's JSF team is using an open developement
    process and an open source license for its JSF 1.2

  2. What's the status of the JSF 1.2 spec and
    implementation? Has it been released yet?

    The spec is currently in href="">JCP Proposed
    Final Draft. Per JCP rules, no one can release a
    final product based on a JCP spec until that spec is
    final. However, because both the container in which Sun's JSF
    1.2 implementation runs, href="">glassfish, and the
    JSF implementation itself are developed using an open process
    and open source license, there is nothing stopping you from
    using a href="">promoted
    build of glassfish to try out JSF 1.2.

    Sun's JSF 1.2 implementation in Glassfish implements the
    entire JSF 1.2 specification, href="">is
    feature complete, and we'd href="">love to
    have your feedback on it on the public forum or href="">project
    mailing lists. Please note that the binary code is
    licensed under Sun's href="">Binary

  3. Which is "better" MyFaces or Sun's JSF Implementation?

    This question sounds like an invitation to a contentious
    debate which usually results in no clear winners. Rather than
    engage in such a debate I'd like to point out that I'm
    delighted that MyFaces exists and has recently passed the JSF
    1.1 TCK. This validates the whole JCP process of open
    specifications that allow implementations to compte on the
    basis of quality and performance. More of that sharing jazz.
    Let me follow up by trying to refute some claims I've heard
    about Sun's JSF project.

    • Our href="">issue
      tracker is totally open. File bugs and they get fixed.
      Pretty simple. I've also heard some complaints about the
      turnaround time for bug fixes. Of course, your mileage may
      vary, but one thing the Sun JSF team does that MyFaces does
      not, and can not, is to keep up with the latest spec as it
      is being developed by the EG
      . Fortunately, due to our
      open process, the general public can follow along with the
      development of the spec by watching what the Sun
      implementation is doing. Therefore, during periods of heavy
      spec development, the turnaround time can be slower, but we
      always make the best effort to fix bugs as soon as possible
      after they are filed.

    • We have a standard process for becoming a committer on
      the project, and anyone is welcome to join.

    • We do have some active external committers. The famous
      Jacob Hookom
      provided several bugfixes and the entire EL implementation.
      Jacob started as a JSF committer but went on to become an
      Expert Group member. Mike Youngstrom is also active in
      submitting bugs and patches.

    • We've fixed over 75 issues since our last release of
      JSF, but because we're a JSF 1.2 implementation, people can't
      reap the benefits unless they move to JSF 1.2.

    • Lastly, the general perception in the public is that
      reference implementations (RI) are not production quality.
      Sun's JSF implementation isn't just an RI, it is product ready
      and used in several products right now. Of course, Sun Java
      Studio Creator (new version now available in Early Access)
      , and all of its customers, use the Sun JSF
      implementation. I'm also told that href="">ADP uses
      Sun's JSF impl, and I think that FedEx does as well, but I
      have to verify that.

  4. JSF and AJAX, synergy or disharmony?

    I'm surprised this one is still out there. href="">Ben and Dion, href="">Greg
    and href="">Tor
    and I have stated on numerous occasions that the page author
    should not have to write AJAX by hand. Use a framework
    instead. As demonstrated at JavaOne, and in the href="">Java
    Blueprints Solutions Catalog, JSF lends itself very well
    to developing components that use AJAX.

I hope this clears up the confusion, and I welcome your comments. In
particular, I want to hear why people may choose MyFaces over the Sun
implementation, both to join as a contributor, or as a user.

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