Developing a Real-World Web Application with NetBeans 5.5 Visual Web Pack

David Botterill walk the audience through the design, analysis, issues, and resolutions of creating the NetBeans plugin portal site using NetBeans, of course, and JavaServer Faces (JSF). Some of David’s best practices for JSF development include are to come up with a preliminary set of requirements, use best guess at page design and page flow in prototype to get feedback, solidify the UI during analysis (the UI will effect the architecture), use Firefox Firebug to debug tricky HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Many of the issues described in by David seemed to have been web pack bugs that have since been fixed. That said, he did suggest some common pitfalls and how to avoid them. David suggested to start with Plain Old Java Objects, POJOs, not with relational tables and foreign keys, and joins, etc. David also stated that getting started with JPQL queries was a bit difficult, if for no other reason than it is something new that he had to go through. David found it difficult to have a button for a form which you can just press the enter button to submit it because there was no submit button on the form. Be aware of session timeouts, don’t make assumption in your software about the state of the session, always test for it. Be diligent about separating your CSS in separate files from your HTML. If you have a web application that relies heavily on the GET method then reevaluate using JSF because it makes it difficult.

Finally, David believes that for web applications resiliency is better than efficiency.

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