Brian Leathem

4 minute read

Following on with another entry in my CDK series, this time we will look at at creating a pair of components to wrap the jQuery UI tabs plugin with the RichFaces CDK. It’ll take two components to accomplish this; one component to define the tab container, and another to define the tabs themselves. Let’s dive right in with a look at the Abstract component definitions.

As always, if you are interested in following along in your IDE, you can get the code below on github.

The Component Classes


package ca.bleathem.richfaces.jquery.component;
import org.richfaces.cdk.annotations.*;

import javax.faces.component.UIComponent;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Collection;
import java.util.HashSet;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Set;

        type = "ca.bleathem.richfaces.jquery.Tabs",
        family = "ca.bleathem.Tabs",
        renderer = @JsfRenderer(type = "ca.bleathem.jquery.TabsRenderer"),
        tag = @Tag(name="tabs"))
abstract public class AbstractTabs extends javax.faces.component.UIPanel {

Here we have the component class for tor the tabs tag - this will be the container for the tab components that follow. This is strikingly similar to the earlier AbstractHello component we saw in our first CDK example. The component class is serving as a placeholder to define the component properties (type, family, tag) , and the renderer associations. Look back through the previous blogs in this series if you don’t recognize these properties.


package ca.bleathem.richfaces.jquery.component;

import org.richfaces.cdk.annotations.*;

        type = "ca.bleathem.richfaces.jquery.Tab",
        family = "ca.bleathem.Tab",
        renderer = @JsfRenderer(type = "ca.bleathem.jquery.TabRenderer"),
        tag = @Tag(name="tab"))
abstract public class AbstractTab extends javax.faces.component.UIPanel {
    public abstract String getTitle();

The component class for the tab tag is similar to the one for the tabs tag, adding a definition for a title attribute, and with slightly different component properties. Let’s move on from these mundane component definitions and look at the Renderers, where things get more interesting.

The Renderers

Looking first at the simpler tab renderer:

div=. tab.template.xhtml



This renderer is simple, again comparable to the hello.template.xml. The new piece we’ve introduced is the <cdk:body /> tag. This tag indicates where we want to render the contents of the component. So any content (or child components) we nest in out tab tag will be wrapped by the div tag.

We’ll see this <cdk:body /> tag again when we look as the (slightly more complex) tabs renderer:

div=. tabs.template.xhtml




This renderer template introduces a number of new concepts. For one, you might have noticed I didn’t create a RenderBase class, like we did for the datepicker component. We could have, but I wanted to demonstrate that it’s not strictly necessary. The CDK allows one to replace the @ResourceDependency annotations we used in the DatepickerRenderBase, with a CDK tag: <cdk:resource-dependency />. This is a one-for-one replacement for the annotation, with matching attributes (in fact, the CDK creates actual @ResourcesDependency annotations in the generated java code). This allows us to define all the required javascript and css resources required by the component in the renderer template itself.

We’ve also made use of the jstl core EL expressions to execute some logic in our renderer. You can see we loop over each of the children of the tabs component, which will be our tab components. For each child tab, we create an entry in an unordered list with the title attribute of the tab. This isn’t just some arbitrary html, we are fulfilling the contract of the jQuery UI tabs plugin. The plugin is going to look for this specific markup to render the tab components, and attach the necessary behavior.

Following the unodered list, we see the <cdk:body /> tag. This renders the child components, delegating to the render associated with each child. In this case, the children are the tab components and will be rendered using the tab renderer from the above tab.template.xhtml template.

The last piece of this template is the javascript call, where we invoke the jQuery UI tabs plugin to enable the client-side behavior. We aren’t passing any options to the plugin in this example, but we could easily do so using the scriptOption CDK tag demonstrated with the datepicker component.

The Result

So what does it look like when we put it all together?

With this sample markup:

        Hello Tab!!
        With nested components:

We can see we have multiple tabs, and for kicks I nested the datepicker component from the previous CDK entry.


So here it is, the jQuery UI tabs plugin wrapped with the RichFaces CDK, providing us with a bare-bones tab component. A lot more work is required to get this to a point where it could replace the RichFaces tab component, but we have succeeded in creating a functional component leveraging existing javascript code, and without a lot of work on our part.