My colleague Manfred Riem tipped me off to a new framework built on JSF, ButterFaces. This whimsical name started an amusing Twitter thread, but also, and much more importantly brought several other new JSF extensions to light. This is the sort of thing that I used to look to Kito Mann's JSF Central Frameworks Page for, but it seems that needs an update. So, in addition to ButterFaces, here are several other JSF extensions that are definitely worth a look.
BootsFaces focuses on Twitter Bootstrap 3 and jQuery UI.
Material Prime is a PrimeFaces extension that lets you build web apps that conform to Google's "Material" design language.
Generjee is a Java EE application generator that outputs JSF+JavaEE 7+CDI code. FWIW, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that there is nothing named JEE. So, I suggest this project rename itself to generee. I think that's snappier anyway.
This recent flurry of activity shows two things. First, the continuing vitality of the JSF ecosystem. By now I think we all know that the ecosystem around the technology is just as important as the technology itself. It's like this. A technology has to be "good enough" to get the job done. That's a given. Heck, it could even be excellent technology. But without an ecosystem around it, even the best technologies will not survive. Second, there is still interest and value in server side state UI frameworks. My recent work with HTTP/2 in Servlet 4 has shown me that such frameworks are very well positioned to take advantage of the optimizations in the HTTP/2 protocol, as well as other performance optimizations shown in Ilya Grigorik's excellent High Performance Browser Networking.
So, check out these new frameworks and don't be afraid to question conventional wisdom.