An Introduction to JavaServer Faces (JSF) 6




What do we have in this session 6?

  1. The response.xhtml File


The response.xhtml File


1.    Open the response.xhtml page in the editor. Either double-click the response.xhtml node from the Projects window, or press Alt-Shift-O to use the Go to File dialog.

2.    Comment out the HTML form element by highlighting the opening and closing HTML <form> tags and the code between them, then press Ctrl-/ (-/ on Mac). Note: To highlight, either click and drag in the editor with your mouse, or, using the keyboard, hold Shift and press the arrow keys.


Highlighting or selecting lines of source codes


3.    Uncomment the JSF HTML form component. Highlight the opening and closing <h:form> tags and the code between them, then press Ctrl-/ (-/ on Mac).


Commenting the line of source codes



4.    At this stage, your code between the <body> tags looks as follows:


    <div id="mainContainer">
        <div id="left" class="subContainer greyBox">
            <h4>[ response here ]</h4>
            <!--<form action="index.xhtml">
                <input type="submit" id="backButton" value="Back"/>
                <h:commandButton id="backButton" value="Back" />
        <div id="right" class="subContainer">
            <img src="duke.png" alt="Duke waving" />
             <!--<h:graphicimage url="/duke.png" alt="Duke waving" />-->


After uncommenting the JSF HTML form component, the editor indicates that the <h:form> and <h:commandButton> tags haven't been declared.

To declare these components, use the IDE's code completion to add the tag library namespace to the page's <html> tag.

Use the editor's code completion support to add required JSF namespaces to the file. When selecting a JSF or Facelets tag through code completion, the required namespace is automatically added to the document's root element. For more information, see JSF 2.0 Support in NetBeans IDE.

Place your cursor on any of the undeclared tags and press Ctrl-Space. Code completion suggestions and documentation support displays.


Using the NetBeans editor's code completion support to add the required JSF namespaces to the file


Click Enter. (If there are multiple options, make sure to select the tag that is displayed in the editor before clicking Enter.) The JSF HTML tag library namespace is added to the <html> tag (shown in bold below), and the error indicators disappear.


<html xmlns=""



The JSF HTML tag library namespace is added to the <html> tag in NetBeans editor


Specify the destination for the request that is invoked when the user clicks the form button. You want to set the button so that when a user clicks it, he or she is returned to the index.xhtml page. To accomplish this, use the commandButton's action attribute. Type in the code displayed in bold.



    <h:commandButton id="backButton" value="Back" action="index" />









Adding the commandButton's action attribute


Note: By typing action="index", you are relying on JSF's implicit navigation feature. When a user clicks the form button, the JSF runtime searches for a file named index.xhtml. It assumes the file extension is the same as the extension used by file from which the request originated (response.xhtml) and looks for the index.xhtml file in the same directory as the originating file (i.e., the webroot).

Replace the static "[ response here ]" text with the value of the UserNumberBean's response property. To do this, use the JSF expression language. Enter the following (in bold).


<div id="left" class="subContainer greyBox">

    <h4><h:outputText value="#{UserNumberBean.response}"/></h4>



Replacing the static [ response here ] text with the value of the UserNumberBean's response property


Run the project (click the Run Project ( The Run Project button of the NetBeans IDE for Java) button, or press F6; fn-F6 on Mac). When the welcome page displays in the browser, enter a number and click submit.


The welcome page displays in the browser waiting for the input


You see the response.xhtml page display similar to the following (provided you did not guess the correct number).


The response page with <p> tag displayed


Two things are wrong with the current status of the response page:


  1. The html <p> tags are displaying in the response message.
  2. The Back button is not displaying at the correct location. (Compare it to the original version.)


The following two steps correct these points, respectively.


Set the <h:outputText> tag's escape attribute to false. Place your cursor between outputText and value, insert a space by pressing Ctrl-Space to invoke code-completion. Scroll down to choose the escape attribute and you can inspect the documentation at the same time.


Choosing the escape attribute and inspecting the Java documentation


As indicated by the documentation, the escape value is set to true by default. This means that any characters that would normally be parsed as html are included in the string, as shown above. Setting the value to false enables any characters that can be parsed as html to be rendered as such.

Click Enter, then type false as the value.


<h4><h:outputText escape="false" value="#{UserNumberBean.response}"/></h4>


Setting the false value for escape attribute


Set the <h:form> tag's prependId attribute to false. Place your cursor just after 'm' in <h:form> and insert a space, then press Ctrl-Space to invoke code-completion. Scroll down to choose the prependId attribute and inspect the documentation. Then click Enter, and type false as the value.


<h:form prependId="false">












Setting the <h:form> tag's prependId attribute to false



prependId form attribute was set to false


JSF applies internal id's to keep track of UI components. In the current example, if you inspect the source code of the rendered page, you will see something like the following:


<form id="j_idt5" name="j_idt5" method="post" action="/jsfDemo/faces/response.xhtml"
<input type="hidden" name="j_idt5" value="j_idt5" />
    <input id="j_idt5:backButton" type="submit" name="j_idt5:backButton" value="Back" />
    <input type="hidden" name="javax.faces.ViewState" id="javax.faces.ViewState"
 value="7464469350430442643:-8628336969383888926" autocomplete="off" />


The id for the form element is j_idt5, and this id is prepended to the id for the Back button included in the form (shown in bold above). Because the Back button relies on the #backButton style rule (defined in stylesheet.css), this rule becomes obstructed when the JSF id is prepended. This can be avoided by setting prependId to false.


Run the project again (click the Run Project ( The NetBean Java JSF Run Project button) button, or press F6; fn-F6 on Mac). Enter a number in the welcome page, then click submit.


Sample output seen in Internet browser which is ready for input


The response page now displays the response message without the <p> tags, and the Back button is positioned correctly.

Click the Back button. Because the current value of UserNumberBean's userNumber property is bound to the JSF inputText component, the number you previously entered is now displayed in the text field.



The response page without the <p> tag





The wrong value between 0 and 10 re displayed


Inspect the server log in the IDE's Output window (Ctrl-4; -4 on Mac) to determine what the correct guess number is.

If you can't see the server log for any reason, you can open it by switching to the Services window (Ctrl-5; -5 on Mac) and expanding the Servers node. Then right-click the GlassFish server on which the project is deployed and choose View Server Log.


Invoking the GlassFish server log


The GlassFish web server log


Type in the correct number and click submit. The application compares your input with the currently saved number and displays the appropriate message.


Guessing the correct number


Response page when the input was correct


Click the Back button again. Notice that the previously entered number is no longer displayed in the text field. Recall that UserNumberBean's getResponse() method invalidates the current user session upon guessing the correct number.

Every time we hit the Back button when the guess was correct, Duke gedik will think a new number as can be seen in the GlassFish server’s log.


New randomly generated number when the answer was correct






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