The Java web frontier debate including Spring MVC vs Richfaces vs ICEFaces vs Swing

(Last Updated On: July 9, 2010)

The Java web frontier debate including Spring MVC vs Richfaces vs ICEFaces vs Swing
This really is not quant development related but I am an on a new project involving web layer to be developed for Java application prototype. I have come across probably the top four Java technologies you could use to deploy an application on. These include the top four frameworks which include Spring MVC, Rich Faces, Ice Faces, and the old traditional Swing.

First off, Swing is very old and primitive. It does have any of the modern technical functionality including push capabilities to AJAX. Bah. No point in looking at that one.
Then I started approached the difference between Spring MVC and Java Server Faces (JSF) technologies. It appears some people would prefer Spring MVC but good luck in looking for decent online tutorials or even starting points. It appears to be more difficult than needed as others on high profile forums seem to claim.
I have seen numerous tutorials and decent community based support from the world of Java Server Faces including Sun (or Oracle themselves) these days. It is also central point of the current Enterprise Edition (EE) 5 or 6. In the same forums, I have found there was a sense of frustration with developing within JSF but the two frameworks of Richfaces and ICEfaces seemed to change all that.
Some said ICEFaces was the cat’s meow for the type of development I was trying to start with. Their online site of icefaces.org was an ok starting point. I even downloaded their Eclipse plugins and files but quickly realized this framework was becoming a false hope. Their demos at their site looked great and worked on all major browsers. As I tried one ICEfaces demo from a site, I tried locally deploying within my Eclipse. Everything worked except there were compatibility problems with Chrome and Safari browsers. What the hell? A day and a half gets wasted.
Next I tried Richfaces from JBOSS which is a division of Red Hat. As I read about ICEfaces, there seemed to be this common complaint on how it uses proprietary technology as compared to true Java openness. Richfaces seems to do this thanks to JJBOSS. As for feature for feature, it seems to have most of what ICEfaces delivers. Also, you can also download a WAR file to try out locally on your Tomcat or other Java container. I really like that as ICEfaces put you through this horrible legwork to get it’s Eclipse plugins in working. I mean it was very time consuming. Screw that! As I was able to play with the local Richfaces WAR, I started to realize this was the better approach to get up and running fairly quickly. My only complaint right now I wish they had proper resources to learn about deploying a simple “Hello World” Richfaces Java application. That does not appear to exist according to my Google search results.

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