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miercuri, 28 ianuarie 2015

OmniFaces 2.0 - ReadOnlyValueExpression that can be set when the "real" value is not yet available

Starting with OmniFaces 2.0, we have an out of the box implementation of a read only value expression that can be used when the value is not yet available at construction time, or when the value would be too expensive to create and it's not yet clear if the expression will actually be evaluated. This is an extension of ValueExpression and it is named ReadOnlyValueExpression.

If you need a ValueExpression that respects the above description then you should know that the OmniFaces implementation can be used by instantiating ReadOnlyValueExpression class by using one of the below three constructors. Notice that the value of this ValueExpression is an OmniFaces Callback, which means that when the expression is evaluated, the callback method, invoke(), is called, as being the value of this ValueExpression. Now, the invoke() method can return an object that was "computed" in the meanwhile. Actually, the returned object is the "real" value of the ValueExpression, that wasn't available when this ValueExpression was created. So, the "real" value MUST be calculated somewhere between the creation of the ValueExpression and the evaluation of it, which lead the flow in the invoke() method.
·         create a ReadOnlyValueExpression via a callback which returns a value (the object is the "real" needed value of this ValueExpression)

ReadOnlyValueExpression readOnlyValueExpression = new  
     ReadOnlyValueExpression(type_of_object, new Returning<Object>() {
 public Object invoke() {
  return object;

·         create a ReadOnlyValueExpression via a callback which takes one argument and returns one value (the object is the "real" needed value of this ValueExpression)

ReadOnlyValueExpression readOnlyValueExpression = new
     ReadOnlyValueExpression(type_of_object, new
           ReturningWithArgument<Object,ELContext>() {
 public Object invoke(ELContext elc) {
  return object;

Now depends on you where you put this ValueExpression. Per example, based on OmniFaces 2.0 - Write a custom component that receive the FaceletContext for the Facelet in which it is declared, you can place it in the "facelet scope", like this:

public void setFaceletContext(FaceletContext faceletContext) {
 ReadOnlyValueExpression readOnlyValueExpression = new
         ReadOnlyValueExpression(type_of_object, new Returning<Object>() {
  public Object invoke() {
   return object;

 faceletContext.getVariableMapper().setVariable(variable_name, readOnlyValueExpression);

Now, before the #{variable_name...} is evaluated (which will call the invoke() method), you need to ensure that the object is created!

Do not forget that this is a read only ValueExpression, so do not try to set its value. Notice the implementation in the figure below:

You can see a complete use of ReadOnlyValueExpression in the OmniFaces 2.0 component, named ResolveComponent. In that case, OmniFaces puts in "facelet scope" a substitute for an UIComponent that doesn't exist yet. This substitute is an ReadOnlyValueExpression based on the Callback.Returning. Meanwhile, the component is found in the component tree, and when the invoke() method is called (the ValueExpression is evaluated), that UIComponent is returned.

Read further about the OmniFaces 2.1 improvments for this artifact.

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