If you really want, you can skip the prose and go straight to the video. However, if you do, you'll miss out on where to download the demos.
This was an interesting JavaOne for me because I was in a funny position with respect to my talk. I had submitted a proposal for a JavaOne talk when the call for papers went around. JSF EG members Jacob Hookom and Adam Winer submitted a similar talk, unbeknownst to me. The JavaOne paper review team suggested we collaborate on a talk, and, since we were already collaborating informally on ideas, it was no problem to collaborate on a talk. But speaking of collaboration...
With AJAX being hot and new and all, everyone wants to get a piece of the pie, do something cool, and get famous. (I'm certainly no exception). With all of these chefs in the kitchen, approaches to AJAX are bound to overlap and in come cases conflict. I had been working with the Sun Blueprints team on their AJAX components, and some of the ideas we developed in those components have been picked up and extended by Shale Remoting. Meantime, Greg Murray had been working on his jMaki project. Then there's Jonas Jacobi and John Fallows and their weblets thing they have in their book. There is also ICESoft's icefaces and Exadel's ajax4jsf. Finally, there are a lot of ideas bobbing around on the myfaces dev list, some of them from my co-speakers Adam and Jacob. Clearly, there is a need for some community refactoring.
Now, here's the funny part. The approach to AJAX and JSF that Adam and Jacob have been advocating, and that I advocate as well, is different, yet potentially complimentary, to what Greg was doing with jMaki. It also does not align perfectly well with some of the things in Shale Remoting. It fits pretty well with ajax4jsf and I'm not sure really how it relates to icefaces. Now, come JavaOne, here I am standing on stage with Jacob and Adam, and the developers of all the AJAX technologies listed above (and probably more) were in the audience, and our talk was titled, "AJAX Done Right". As if to say, "everyone else is doing it wrong". I wasn't too comfortable with such a confrontational title, but, hey, this is the age of the technology smackdown and all that jazz, so I went along with it.
People tend to take critique of their creations personally, so I want to set the record straight and say that each approach has value and none of them have all the answers for all situations for doing AJAX. That's a good thing because we can harvest all these great ideas in the upcoming JSF 2.0 spec. In the meantime, Jacob and I are putting forward our take on JSF and AJAX in the JavaServer™ Faces Technology Extensions. Project. For more on the future of that project, I'll have an upcoming blog.
The demo shown in this talk, as well as the demo shown at the Sun Web Tier Pod on the JavaOne 2006 show floor, are available for download here. You'll need to or Glassfish to run them.
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