When this blog is writing, JSF 2.0 specification reached the Public Review status. Everybody can visit the JSR-314 EG page and download his own copy of it. Comparing to JSF 1.2 when the implementation appeared about one year after the specification is done, Sun is developing the reference implementation, also known as Project Mojarra, at the time with writing the specification. Thus, you can try new features of JSF 2.0 right away downloading the Mojarra 2.0.0 PR release from the project home page: https://javaserverfaces.dev.java.net/ .
JSF 2.0 has some cool innovation features. One of them is PDL (Page Declaration Language). PDL inherits its core functionality from two well known JSF project - Facelets and JSFTemplates. Among all other features, it allows to create new JSF components in declarative manner, without creating a bunch of java classes like it was in the previous JSF versions. In this blog we will test-drive this feature and show the top features of PDL.
Binary Mojarra distribution already contains ezcomp00 and ezcomp01 applications that show the basic of the PDL. We are not going to repeat them, but will create something different. RichFaces has a rich:panel, pretty simple, but useful JSF component. It represents the rectangle with a body and an optional header defined by a facet. The look-n-feel of the rich:panel is defined with some set of css rules. Some of those rules refer to the parameters taken from the skin parameters. I.e. css has static and dynamically generated rules. If header presents, it is filled with background gradient generated by java class that also uses the skin parameters as base colors for generated gradient. The working example of the rich-panel you can see at the main richfaces demo at: http://livedemo.exadel.com/richfaces-demo/richfaces/panel.jsf
As you may know, I've been working very closely with the other stake holders in JSF (e.g. Sun, Oracle, Apache) on JSF 2. I just wanted to pull together a few recents threads to give you an update.