What is missing in JSR 168 portlet specification?


In our previous articles we have gone through JSR168 API Features. Now let's see some of the features that are still missing in JSR168 and those are likely to be included in JSR286.

  • Inter-portlet communication / Portlet coordination.
  • Serving non-markup resources (.pdf, .doc, images etc.)
  • Portlet filters.
  • AJAX Support.
  • Contributing JavaScript or CSS to , using cookies.
  • Proper support for common web frameworks.
Inter-portlet communication / portlet coordination
  • Only possible within the same portlet application using session attributes.
  • Portlet cannot (should not) update their state during a render request. “event” handling not really possible.
  • Target portlets will only “see” messages during next render request.
Serving non-markup resources
  • A portlet can only render markup fragment.
  • Direct URL access to a portlet is not possible.
  • Requires direct servlet URLs for serving resource request outside the markup fragment.
  • Might require the state (session) coordination, like for security, between the portlet and direct servlet requests.
AJAX Support

Many portals actually provide AJAX support now but none of that is endorsed by the specifications
Proper support requires custom / portal specific extensions
Solutions are not portable

Contributing to <head>, setting cookies

JavaScript or css can only be embedded within the content markup; no body onLoad handling hooks.
API forbids adding cookies: only client side setting of cookies using JavaScript is possible.

Support for common web frameworks
  • Most web frameworks are Servlet API only. Servlet dispatching not supported from processAction.
  • Needs Portals Bridges or similar solutions.
  • JSTL support very limited.

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