xulfaces is born during summer 2005.
I was looking for a rich client solution for Java which some key features :
- light deployment
- keep business layer on the server side (no needs to code and deploy hundred of web services)
- efficient but with rich UI features
- released under open source license
Some Rich Client solution are very close from the ancient Client Server technology : you have to install
a runtime plus the application.
This is not "light deployment" even if there are new features like "Live update".
Why not using Swing with RMI ?
Keep business layer on the server side
Millions of Java code lines have been written to implement business logic
on the server side with various techniques (EJB, JDBC, DAO, custom solutions,...).
There is no reason to rewrite code because we want Rich Client UI.
Efficient but with rich UI features
Some solutions show you a firework of colors with flying windows.
It gives headaches !
Business application users work all day on a limited set of
screens : there are not customers but employees who are working.
They need a clean and efficient UI.
XUL and Java Server Faces
- Light deployment
Mozilla and Firefox have an integrated XUL engine, you can use your favorite web browser to run XUL application.
- Keep business layer on the server side
XUL is fine for UI but if you want to access your business logic on the server side it turns to nightmare.
JSF and AJAX pattern are used to build a bridge between the client and the server.
- Efficient but with rich UI features
XUL offers a rich UI for business applications. XUL is simple XML language.
There are trees, tabbed panes, list boxes, wizards,layout and so on.
You have the ability to refresh the entire screen or a part of it.
Look at Thunderbird : it's a XUL application.