With a RichFaces 4.1.0.Final release on the horizon, now is a good time to talk about the future of the project. Let me start by announcing that I will be taking over from Jay Balunas as lead of the RichFaces project. Jay has been a long-time shepherd of RichFaces from within JBoss, and has had a direct hand in making the project such a great success. Jay has been a terrific mentor and while he is stepping down as the project lead, he will continue to stay involved, sharing his insight and experience with the Richfaces team. He will just no longer get the final word ;)
Moving forward, I would like to see the project continue to focus on the key strengths that have made RichFaces such a great project to be involved with: innovation, open standards, community, and quality.
RichFaces has long been the place to come for JSF innovation. Never content to simply provide a JSF component set, the RichFaces project (together with other JBoss projects) has always aimed to provide developers with a complete JSF framework for developing applications. Some of these innovations include:
- Pioneering JSF ajax support
- Client side validation
- Ajax Push component - leveraging websockets where available
- The CDK (Component Development Kit) - in RF 4 the CDK builds on top of the JSF 2 composite components feature
- Support for mobile browsers in our base component set
- Resource packaging and minification
- Advanced queuing
- Sophisticated tooling support (together with JBoss tools)
Richfaces has played a significant role in improving the JSF specification with contributions to JSF 2.0, particularly in the area of ajax integration. RichFaces also aims to improve the standards story by integrating JSF with other Java EE standards in some of the same innovations mentioned above:
- Client side validation brings Bean Validation into the client environment
- The push component couples JMS messaging with our JSF component set
- The push component also leverages CDI, providing building on the standardized Java EE programming model
RichFaces is also very much a community oriented project. Both our development and planning efforts are done out in the open, with an open door to anyone who wants to help out. Some of the ways we actively work to facilitate community interaction include:
- A user forum with an incredible amount of traffic
- Weekly team meetings held openly in IRC
- A developer forum - where new ideas for the framework are worked out
- Active use of social media (twitter, Google+)
- Github hosting - facilitating community contributions
RichFaces is a very well tested project, with a dedicated QE team that continually writes new tests for the framework, and ensures that existing tests continue to pass in their automated runs. Look forward to some upcoming blog posts, where we will expand on our testing strategy, and speak to the industry leading role JBoss is taking with projects like Arquillian, JSFUnit, and how we build on that with RichFaces. This all comes together in a robust, enterprise-ready platform on which you can develop and deploy your applications.
Thanks to all of you for your interest and contributions to the project, feel free to ping me in the forums, IRC (in #richfaces), twitter or anywhere for that matter should you want to discuss how you can contribute to the project, and help shape it into what you need it to be!