Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Richfaces & JSF 1.2

The problem with Richfaces 3.3.1 and Sun JSF RI is that an exception thrown in action listener is suppressed by Richfaces. I will show why this happens. The following stacktrace shows an order of invocations that takes place when an action listener is called:

((1)) at blah.blah.blah.ActionListenerTest.test(ActionListenerTest.java:122)
at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:39)
at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:25)
at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:597)
at org.apache.el.parser.AstValue.invoke(AstValue.java:170)
at org.apache.el.MethodExpressionImpl.invoke(MethodExpressionImpl.java:276)
at com.sun.facelets.el.TagMethodExpression.invoke(TagMethodExpression.java:68)
((2)) at javax.faces.event.MethodExpressionActionListener.processAction(MethodExpressionActionListener.java:99)
at javax.faces.event.ActionEvent.processListener(ActionEvent.java:88)
at javax.faces.component.UIComponentBase.broadcast(UIComponentBase.java:771)
at javax.faces.component.UICommand.broadcast(UICommand.java:372)
at javax.faces.component.UIData.broadcast(UIData.java:938)
((3)) at org.ajax4jsf.component.AjaxViewRoot.processEvents(AjaxViewRoot.java:321)
at org.ajax4jsf.component.AjaxViewRoot.broadcastEvents(AjaxViewRoot.java:296)
at org.ajax4jsf.component.AjaxViewRoot.processPhase(AjaxViewRoot.java:253)
at org.ajax4jsf.component.AjaxViewRoot.processApplication(AjaxViewRoot.java:466)
at com.sun.faces.lifecycle.InvokeApplicationPhase.execute(InvokeApplicationPhase.java:82)

I've marked interesting places with ((1)), ((2)) and ((3)). The first interesting method is ((1)) - that is where we throw an unchecked exception. The exception will be catched somewhere between ((1)) and ((2)) and wrapped into the ELException class. Then this exception will be caught in ((2)) as it can be seen here (sources are taken from Sun JSF RI 1.2.12):

public void processAction(ActionEvent actionEvent) throws AbortProcessingException {
if (actionEvent == null) {
throw new NullPointerException();

try {
FacesContext context = FacesContext.getCurrentInstance();
ELContext elContext = context.getELContext();
methodExpression.invoke(elContext, new Object[] {actionEvent});
} catch (ELException ee) {
Throwable eeCause = ee.getCause();
if (LOGGER.isLoggable(Level.SEVERE)) {
new Object[]{
eeCause == null ? ee.getClass().getName() : eeCause.getClass().getName(),
StringWriter writer = new StringWriter(1024);
if (eeCause == null) {
ee.printStackTrace(new PrintWriter(writer));
} else {
eeCause.printStackTrace(new PrintWriter(writer));

throw eeCause == null ? new AbortProcessingException(ee.getMessage(), ee) : new AbortProcessingException(ee.getMessage(), eeCause);
When the processActio methods catches exception it logs it and wraps exception cause into the AbortProcessingException. Here we come to place ((3)) which catches AbortProcessingException. The following is the source code from RichFaces 3.3.1.GA:

public void processEvents(FacesContext context,
EventsQueue phaseEventsQueue, boolean havePhaseEvents) {
FacesEvent event;
while (havePhaseEvents) {
try {
event = (FacesEvent) phaseEventsQueue.remove();
UIComponent source = event.getComponent();
try {
} catch (AbortProcessingException e) {
if (_log.isErrorEnabled()) {
UIComponent component = event.getComponent();
String id = null != component ? component
.getClientId(context) : "";
"Error processing faces event for the component "
+ id, e);
} catch (NoSuchElementException e) {
havePhaseEvents = false;
As you can see processEvents catches AbortProcessingException, logs it and does nothing! That is it!

I've tried a lot of solutions to solve this, I've tried to solve it with servlets/filters/phase-listeners/action-listeners and so on with no luck! Then I've solved it with last resort - AspectJ. The following aspect does the job perfectly:

public class RichfacesErrorIntercepterAspect {
@Around("call(* javax.faces.component.UIComponent.broadcast(..)) && within (org.ajax4jsf.component.AjaxViewRoot)")

public void callToBroadcast (final ProceedingJoinPoint thisJoinPoint) throws Throwable
try {
thisJoinPoint.proceed ();
} catch (final AbortProcessingException e) {
throw new RuntimeException ("Exception in action listener: " + e.getMessage (), e.getCause ());
To weave Richfaces's jar I've used the maven (I use it to build the project anyway):






  1. Thanks, that worked for me. Do you know if RichFaces is planning to fix this problem?


  2. Hi,

    Both Sun RI and MyFaces do just the same handling for events. For example, here is the code from MyFaces 1.2.8: http://pastie.org/739687 .
    Difference between Sun RI and MyFaces lays in implementation of javax.faces.event.MethodExpressionActionListener class.

  3. Hi,

    It is not a RichFaces issue. That's actually how JSF handles exceptions in UIViewRoot. Events that caused exceptions in listeners are logged and that's all.

    So the described problem is just a JSF 1.2 problem. Refer to:
    There is also described a workaround of the issue using just JSF, without third-party libriries (like AspectJ)