For more than a decade now, JavaServer Faces (JSF) has held a special place as the sole portion of the JavaEE specification that addresses building UI’s for our web applications. As such JSF has historically been the only web front-end we’ve pushed at JBoss. Along with Seam and later CDI, RichFaces has been an important part of our JSF story, and a vehicle for our innovation in the JSF space. We are very proud to see so many of the initiatives we’ve spearheaded in the RichFaces project standardized in recent iterations of the JSF standard.
With these trends in mind, we’ve decided that moving forward we will pursue a path of stability with our JSF approach, rather than a path of innovation. We will continue to track the JSF spec with our RichFaces components and address compatibility issues with new browsers. Applications currently running with RichFaces 4 can continue to do so with an assurance of stability. With this goal in mind we are focusing on delivering a RichFaces 4.5 release, rather than the previously planned RichFaces 5.
RichFaces 4.5 will include:
JSF 2.2 compatibility
Our replacement Extended PartialViewContext (PVC) that extends the JSF PVC (for better interoperability with other JSF-based frameworks)
A re-vamped build consisting of a single (multi-module) repository
Chart components developed as part of last year’s GSoC
The updated JSF 2.2 compatible RichFaces Fileupload component
A type-safe approach for attribute definitions (using interfaces rather than xml)
Page fragments for abstracting your functional tests
An simplified Asciidoc version of the docs
Some of the ideas we prototyped in RichFaces 5 that will not be available in RichFaces 4.5 include the collapsed component namespace, the JSF independent client-side component implementation (RichWidgets), the Bootstrap theme, and the java package re-factoring.
RichFaces 4.5 will support JSF 2.2 and will be backwards compatible with RichFaces 4.3. This will allow your RichFaces applications to take advantage of the latest and greatest improvements in JSF, without incurring any migration costs. We have a feature-complete release of RichFaces 4.5.0.Alpha3 available today for you to try these features out.
While we are no longer pursuing further innovation with our set of custom JSF components (RichFaces), the JSF runtime on JBoss EAP / WildFly is here to stay - it is part of the JavaEE specification after all. Likewise the JSF tooling in JBoss Tools and Developer Studio will not disappear. You are welcome to continue running your JSF-based applications on JBoss EAP / WildFly using either our stabilized RichFaces components or any of the other JSF component sets available.
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