Posted by driscoll
on June 17, 2009 at 6:07 PM PDT
It's come up a few times recently, so I thought I'd go over how to learn JSF 2 before the books come out, and before the new tutorial is released.
Not too long ago, I heard someone complain that the JSF tutorial wasn't ready yet. Now, that's not surprising - the tutorial writing process (for that matter, the book writing process) doesn't actually start until the spec is more or less final, and the implementation is at least Beta (meaning feature complete).
But that raises the question: Suppose you're eager to get started. How do you learn about JSF 2 before all the user-friendly books have been written?
I suggest you go about it the way I do - here's the resources that you can use now, while waiting for the books that will come out.
Read online articles and blogs: This is probably the most obvious suggestion, if you're already here - just paging backward in this blog will get you some good information. But that really only gives you a very limited set of examples.
Read the PDL docs: Here's one that surprises me - most folks don't seem to know that every standard tag is documented in the PDL Docs . While the language of these docs can be a little overspecific and dry, of all of the standard JSF documetation, I find this the most useful.
There's also the JavaDocs and the Spec itself, but if often difficult to find something in there unless you know what you're looking for, so instead I recommend you...
Check out the demos: Project Mojarra has a bunch of demo programs, and many of them are really, really simple examples of things you can do with JSF 2. There's also a fair bit of cruft in there, waiting for us to clean it up, but it's probably worth your while. I recommend checking out any demo with "basic" or "ajax" in it's name, as a start. To do this, of course, you'll have to check out the Project Mojarra Source Code (check in the directory marked "jsf-demo"), but that's not such a high bar - it's not necessary to build it to get something out of the demos.
And of course, most importantly:
Ask questions: There's the mail alias, email@example.com - which requires subscription, but you'll want to see other people's questions anyway. I promise you, the entire dev team reads that alias. There's the JSF Forum - where a lot of really savvy users hang out, helping each other. There's an IRC channel too, ##jsf at irc.freenode.net - where you'll often find folks from all over the JSF world.
So, to sum up, if you're a bit adventurous and ready to start right now, there's a lot of things that'll get you going. And the books will be along shortly, never fear.