Chapter 3. Introduction to RichFaces

3.1. About JSF

JSF stands for JavaServer Faces. It is a Java-based specification used to build user interfaces for web applications. Ajax components added to these interfaces utilize JSF to manage any events a user triggers. RichFaces uses JSF 2 to define the Java elements in a web application. JSF uses RichFaces' XML templates to create user interface components.
JSF provides a global onError handler to the client if an exception is triggered. The handler provides the relevant error code and other associated data. The RichFaces Ajax components provide the error attribute if extra functionalities are required.
Additional error processing is available:
  • The <a4j:status> component has an additional error state.
  • The <a4j:queue> component is used to process errors.
  • The JSF 2 ExceptionHandler class handles server-side errors such as session expiration.


The standard display technology used by JSF 1 was JavaServer Pages (JSP). With JSF 2, the standard display technology has been changed to Facelets, which is a more powerful and more efficient View Declaration Language (VLD) than JSP.