Ajax and JavaServer Faces Tooling in Eclipse

This JavaOne 2007 technical session started off with Cameron Bateman describing how to use the Eclipse Web Tools Platform (WTP) Project to create JavaServer Faces (JSF) applications and custom tools for Eclipse. This was a discussion better suited for JSF component developers. Eclipse web tools provides a web page editor, JSF configuration model, editor, and wizards. Eclipse and the WTP project are extensible, the WTP in particular allows developers to leverage design-time tag rendering, expression language support, and the meta-data framework. Customizing Eclipse and the WTP project allows you to provide design-time support for your custom tag libraries in the Eclipse IDE.

This was like two sessions in one because Philippe Ombredanne then presented on the Ajax Toolkit Framework (ATF) tools in Eclipse. The ATF project can help to develop AJAX applications in Eclipse. The most interesting aspect of the ATF project is the Eclipse Mozilla mashup. The ATF project embeds Mozilla in Eclipse via XULRunner and JavaXPCOM. In addition to embedding a browser in the Eclipse IDE, the ATF also provide a rich feature set for AJAX developer such as a JavaScript editor and debugger, DOM and XMLHttpRequst inspector, and plain simply faster AJAX development. You can debug a remote website in Eclipse with the ATF project similarly how you would step through a Java project in the debug perspective. Embedding the Mozilla “enables web browser integration beyond the capabilities of the standard SWT browser widget” and brings AJAX applications to the rich client desktop.

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