The Basics of JavaServer Faces
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In 2004 Sun Microsystems introduced a Java web framework called JavaServer Faces (JSF) in an effort to help simplify web application development. It is an evolution of the JavaServer Pages (JSP) framework, adding a more organized development life cycle and the ability to more easily utilize modern web technologies. JSF uses XML files for view construction and uses Java classes for application logic, making it adhere to the MVC architecture. JSF is request-driven, and each request is processed by a special servlet named the FacesServlet. The FacesServlet is responsible for building the component trees, processing events, determining which view to process next, and rendering the response. JSF 1.x used a special resource file named the faces-config.xml file for specifying application details such as navigation rules, registering listeners, and so on. While the faces-config.xml file can still be used in JSF 2.x, the more modern releases of JSF have focused on being easy to use, minimizing the amount of XML configuration, and utilizing annotations in place of XML where possible. Such will be the trend with the future releases of JSF as well, since it has now become a mature web framework.