Monday, May 19, 2008

Woodstock or Icefaces?

I recently ran into a tutorial on the icefaces JSF components and it seems to be an interesting technology. I like the fact that they use ajax push for some of there functionalities. Drag n drop and other visual effects seem to be really attractive too, but I'm concern about the overall stability and usability of the toolkit. As I'm developing and maintaining a project that uses the woodstock JSF components, I need stability.

While signing up on IceSoft website to be allowed to download icefaces, I noticed a few usability errors. IceSoft website makes use of Icefaces. Basically, the form where you enter your name and all that uses ajax to autovalidate its content. That sounds like a good idea. The problem is that it drops the content of the form when it receives an ajax update. That means that what you type between the moment when the form decides to run an ajax validation and the moment where it receives the result of this validation magically disappears while you are typing.

That's the kind of usability bugs I cannot afford in my application so I think I will wait before I give a try to icefaces.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing this out, I assume you are talking about the registration page as the login box appears to be working fine. There are a few ways of dealing with validation when using ICEfaces - we have a validation tutorial and an example application with validation - . I will take a closer look at our registration page to make it more user friendly.

Brad Kroeger

Guillaume Radde said...

Very cool. The validation demo is definitely great in terms of usability.

Anonymous said...

Woodstock is dead
Icefaces will replace it

Guillaume Radde said...

Yes, I heard about that. On my side, I'm dropping JSF for my future projects. JSF works great if you need to develop forms quickly, but if you want full control over what's happening in your browser, you will need to do your webapp in javascript. Right now, GWT seems appealing to me.

Chris Laprun said...

Neither: RichFaces! :p