JSR-286 (the next generation Portlet specification) was approved last week.
The major new features of version 2.0 include:
* Events â€“ enabling a portlet to send and receive events and perform state changes
or send further events as a result of processing an event
* Public render parameters â€“ allowing portlets to share parameters with other
* Resource serving â€“ provides the ability for a portlet to serve a resource.
* Portlet filter allowing on the fly transformations of information in both the
request to and the response from a portlet
I have to admit I have mixed feelings on the spec. It certainly adds a number of features to facilitate inter-portlet communication, and messaging which were commonly requested. Part of me does wonder though if Gadgets, Widgets, and platforms like OpenSocial are going to leap past the Java Portal space. The aggregation and plumbing aspects which we’ve really focused on in many ways seem much less interesting than standardizing the data model behind obtaining presence, personal, relationship, and other data — something that the social networks seem to be moving full speed ahead on.
It looks like major portal vendors are actively moving beyond portlet specification by adding new content aggregation models. I believe that portlets will continue to exist but just like one of the many available options.
I tend to agree, but given that portlets are inherently container local, whereas the new ones are network protocal-ish, I wonder if portlets are being relegated to “legacy” standards support. Afterall, if you can write to a ubiquitous, cross-platform standard, why bother with other ones?