[javaee-spec users] Re: [JAX-RS vs JSF] Why having two web app frameworks is not a bad thing

From: Kito Mann <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 12:44:35 -0500

Hello Adam,

I don't understand your rationale. Let's look at these points:

   - easy SEO

How is this difficult with JSF?

   - bookmarkable

Totally possible with JSF 2.

   - human readable URLs

Possible, but better with an add-on like PrettyFaces.

   - front-end based on prototypes written by pure HTML/JS developers

Possible using Facelets HTML-style templates.

What am I missing?

Having JAX-RS be a very good choice for applications with a heavy
client-side scripting/templating UI makes perfect sense, but just having
another server-side web framework doesn't.

Kito D. Mann | @kito99 | Author, JSF in Action
Virtua, Inc. | | JSF/Java EE training and consulting - JavaServer Faces FAQ, news, and info |
+1 203-404-4848 x246

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On Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM, Adam Walczak <> wrote:

> Hi,
> I just want to share some thoughts about JAX-RS vs JSF and why in my
> opinion adding MVC support to JAX-RS is a good idea. We had a small debate
> on DZone whenever evolving the JAX-RS standard beyond just REST APIs would
> be a bad or good move:
> *Henk De Boer said that:*
> Having two MVC web frameworks would IMHO be highly confusing. I know it's
> popular to bash JSF, but it's actually quite a good framework these days. I
> wonder if some of this bashing isn't just coming from the people behind the
> other frameworks (like Wicket and Spring MVC). If JSF's main problem is
> that it's being blackened by its competitors, why would a new web framework
> from Oracle/Java EE not receive the same treatment?
> Instead of having two competing MVC web frameworks within Java EE, it's
> probably better to give JSF more "action/request"-based properties, for
> those use-cases that need this. In fact, this is already happening a bit.
> JSF 2.2's view action is an example of this direction, and the issue about
> a stateless mode is the most popular one now at the spec Jira. See
> *I totally disagree with the above point of view.*
> JSF is a Component-based MVC framework.
> JAX-RS/MVC is not component-based and it is more suitable in many
> situations.
> I was evaluating the two technologies for my last project. My requirements
> ware:
> - easy SEO
> - bookmarkable
> - human readable URLs
> - front-end based on prototypes written by pure HTML/JS developers
> JSF is totally unusable in this scenario. And this scenario IS very common
> in development of content driven sites. JSF sucks in this ares, its good
> for pure web applications.
> As for Jersey JAX-RS + their MVC + JSP the experience of developing
> content driven sites is great.
> (PS. I know there are hacks and libraries to make JSF fit more to my
> requirements but its a over-kill compared to JAX-RS MVC)
> To me it would be a bad decision to leave Java EE with no standard
> solution for this common scenario.
> BTW for me the best way the JSF and JAX-RS MVC standards should go is:
> 1. Decouple Facelets from JSF and even HTTP to make it a general
> XML/STML templating language. Almost every web applications sends HTML
> emails for example and we have no standard way to generate them.
> 2. Make Facelets an option in JAX-RS MVC.
> 3. Make a clear distinction in the documentation that JSF is best
> suited if you mostly need a uniform and rapid way to create component based
> GUIs for web applications. JAX-RS MVC is best suited for content driven
> websites where you want more control over the HTTP protocol, URL, HTML and
> JS and you don't need a big abstraction layer over them like JSF.
> 4. If we would take this direction I think we could even call JSP and
> JSTL deprecated. At least from my point of view I would have no reason to
> use them.
> *In summary*
> I hope this will bring on some discussion that will impact Java EE 7 or 8.
> For me the standard gives no productive API to develop content driven web
> sites which are a large part of the web. Servlets/JSP/JSTL are a little
> rusty. JSF gives you much but cannot deal with many common requirements.
> JAX-RS with MVC is a great verbose API for devs that must have control on
> the HTTP/HTML/CSS/JS side and don't need a big abstraction layer for their
> components.
> --
> Adam Walczak
> +48 604 188 992