Friday, January 11, 2013

Whitespaces collapse in Richfaces

It's well known that by default sequence of whitespaces in HTML will collapse to a single whitespace. To fix it it's sufficient to set CSS white-space Property:
But what to do when you use Richafaces (Ajax4jsf) and have set this CSS property correctly but nevertheless whitespaces keep collapsing?

According to RichFaces Developer Guide:
RichFaces uses a filter for a correction of code received on an Ajax request. In case of a "regular" JSF request a browser makes correction independently. In case of Ajax request in order to prevent layout destruction it's needed to use a filter, because a received code could differ from a code validated by a browser and a browser doesn't make any corrections.
Thus Richfaces parser do correct our HTML code, but the parser does not know anything about our CSS and thus here is the cause of the issue.

In Richfaces there are 2 types of parsers:
  1. Tidy is the default parser. It is similar to usual browser parsing. It's the slowest one from Richfaces parsers. On my opinion it should be used only with complicated markup
  2. Neko is less stricted and so it works faster
So to fix our issue it would be sufficient to change our parser from default (Tidy) to Neko. We should add according filter in web.xml:
If necessary you can configure filters flexibly for different pages (example)