JSF 1.1 has a problem with JSP in that it can't bind components together when a page first loads. This is well documented in Improving JSF by Dumping JSP by Hans Bergsten.
The easy example of this problem is when you have <h:outputLabel> tags before <h:inputText> tags. The average JSF user might not notice the problem, but if you customize <h:outputLabel> to display "required field" indicators based on the "required" attribute of <h:inputText> - the issue slaps you in the face. The easy solution is to use <h:panelGrid> to layout your form data, and everything magically works. However, table-based forms are ugly and I'd much rather do pretty forms like this one.
In order to create pretty forms and get around the JSF sucks with JSP problem, I'm looking for a component similar to panelGrid - but it spits out <ul> and <li> instead of <table> and <tr>/<td>. Does anyone know of such a component? I asked this question on the MyFaces list this morning, but haven't had much luck.
I'm fully aware that Facelets (or Clay) will solve this problem. However, I'm merely trying to get AppFuse 1.9.2 released without making major changes. I suppose I could always go with ugly table-based forms, but I'd rather not.