Donnerstag, 8. November 2012

Marrying Scala with Apache MyFaces Part 4 - Apache MyFaces Extension Scripting


In Parts 1 2 and 3 we have had a look at various implementation aspects on how to enable Scala and Apache MyFaces.
Part 4 introduces a framework which allows a zero restart configuration for Scala based JSF artifacts, such as components, managed beans, renderers etc...

This project is a relatively new extension to the Apache MyFaces project which already has had spawned several sideprojects such as CODI or Ext-Val.

The projects name is Ext-Scripting.

What is Ext-Scripting? This is an ongoing effort to integrate scripting languages into Apache MyFaces in a way that the user gets zero restart configurations for code writing.

Following video will give more details on what Ext-Scripting can provide:

Ext-Scripting itself is not only a Scala specific project but also supports as of now Groovy, dynamically recompiled Java  and soon JRuby.
One of the major aspects of Ext-Scripting was to provide extensive documentation which you can find here.

In this blog we will trim down all the information provided to give you the bare essentials in the shortest possible time.

Ext-Script in action

Ext-Script allows you now to edit direct JSF artifacts like managed beans and recompiles those artifacts on the fly. Very similar to JSP, however in JSP you were limited to stateless pages,  Ext-Scripting literally allows you to edit most JSF artifacts no matter if they are stateless or stateful.

It uses sophisticated dependency detection mechanisms on bytecode level, to reload exactly the artifacts it needs to keep the system in a stable state.

Following video (With a Java Example) will demonstrate of what happens exactly

So what does this mean for Scala. Once Ext-Scripting is enabled you can start to write managed beans, components, navigation handlers, phase listeners etc... directly in Scala and have Ext-Scripting do the heavy lifting for you.

Your server restart times will be reduced up to 90% by simply using the dynamic recompilation feature. You even can use the JSF annotations in a dynamic manner, by simply moving them deleting them etc...

Getting started -

Maven config

The easiest way to get started with Ext-Scripting is simply to take one of the example projects provided by the distribution and to start hacking or use maven. We will emphasis on the maven configuration in this blog. To add Ext-Scripting all you need is a working war configuration and then add following entries to your dependency section:


And for the Scala support:


This should add all the needed dependencies automatically to your project.


General Setup To have Apache MyFaces picking up Ext-Scripting we have to add following context parameter to the web.xml:

         Enables our scripting engine support plugins

Setting up your source directories

Now theoretically you can start to code. Ext-Script will pick up sources hosted under WEB-INF/scala in your deployment directory. However under normal circumstances this is undesired because you want to have Ext-Scripting to pick up the sources from your real source directories for editing.

So we now have a number of context parameters in the web.xml which will allow Ext-Scripting to pick up your various sources from the source destinations itself.

For Scala following config parameters is relevant:

     <description>Additional comma separated loader paths to allow direct editing on the sources directory instead of the deployment dir
   <some project path>/src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/scala

Now this is all to have Ext-Script to pick up your sources from the Scala path and you can start. Happy Coding.

[1] Link to Apache MyFaces Ext-Scripting
[2] Marrying JSF and Scala Part 1
[3] Marrying JSF and Scala Part 2
[4] Marrying JSF and Scala Part 3

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