GST Site Foundation: new features for the 11.6 release

The next version of GSF will be 11.6. This jump from version 1.2 is done to align the version numbers a bit more with Sites 11g PS6.


The 11g version of GSF (11.6) has the following major features.

  • Using ContentServer 11g jars for compilation.
  • Web Referenceable Assets no longer requires the meta and h1title attributes; path and template are enough.
  • Support for 11g flex Pages. In 11g Pages have changed and are now flexible enough to also hold content. For GSF this is a change as Page assets are now not only used them as navigation placeholders as in the 1.x releases. The 11g navigation model can still be used.
  • Considerably reduced configuration, just drop in the jar to start, some features require minimal configuration.
  • Improved Dependency Injection support: greater flexibility, no dependency on Spring, adding support for Groovy factories.
  • Groovy Actions can now be managed as CSElements.
  • Improved installer.
  • Various new services.
  • Improved localization support.
  • Improved navigation bar support, also improved performance.
  • Adding support for service Factories per site.
  • Adding support for (mobile) device detection, allowing for device specific template dispatching.
  • Improved documentation and sample code, including a rewrite of avisports.

A full list of changes are documented in the changes document for a more detailed and date ordered overview.

New services

  • Added a LocaleService Can also be used in the root Action to find a translation of the primary asset. Now all the translation stuff is pluggable.
  • Added a default error page in case an ErrorHandler element is not provided
  • Adding NavigationService and relocating the navigation service to its own package.
  • Adding support for Navigation bars with 11g Pages. The navigation tag looks up for the NavigationService so it can be easily customizable in case different behaviour is needed.
  • Also introduced the NavigationService interface and a single implementation. This (first) implementation is making use of direct sql to look for the nav nodes in SitePlanTree, Page, Publication and AssetPublication tables. This is done for performance and code clarity reasons.
  • Adding lucene search engine as a service


  • Adding support for Factory for services defined in groovy scripts
  • Adding variants to factory methods. Besides the create<Classname>(ICS) method, there is now @ServiceProducer annotation, and static factory methods that can optionally accept ICS and a Factory.
  • Adding support for service Factories per site.
  • A chain of factories can be be used for composition of factories, as opposed to object inheritance.
  • Adding feature: Using a plus sign as the name for action in the gsf:root postfixes "_action" to the current elementname to get to the action name. In this way it is easy to build upon a naming convention.

    For instance in the element Page/Detail the action name would be Page/Detail_action

  • Adding support for loading groovy scripts from element catalog. Element file names need to end with .groovy
  • Refactoring groovy framework for configuration without Spring.
  • Refactoring action framework for configuration without Spring.
  • Adding isActive() support if current Navigation node is same as icsVar 'p'.
  • Adding support to get parents with the Group_parentname syntax in JSP EL. Returns an List of AssetIds.
  • Adding variable binding support. @Bind can be used in action to read ics and session vars.
  • Refactored ContextLoader to make sure that AppContext is registered on the servlet context after initialization, even if no ServletContextListener is defined.
  • Adding groovy as a default configuration option, if WEB-INF/gsf-groovy and the groovy library is found
  • Reworked WRA url and controller etc to work with path & template only. This is called a VanityAsset

Misc Improvements

  • Deprecating the p tag, merging p:page, p:include and p:action into gsf:root, gsf:action and gsf:include.
  • Improved Assembler and PageReference implementation to work around preview issues.
  • Changing exceptions to CSRuntimeExceptions as ftErrors is no longer a Exception, as off 7.6.2
  • Added logic that if sitepreview is disabled, the start/enddate logic is not run.
  • Refactored the asset event listeners for tagging to extend RunOnceAssetEventListener.
  • Implemented a RunOnce event listener, that will prevent business logic execution if that business logic has already fired for this event listener during this ICS scope (request).
  • Adding script for building and packaging
  • Rudimentary script to change the jsps from 1.2 to 11.6 release, due to deprecated jsp tags.

    You can invoke the script through find for instance:

                find . -type f -name '*.jsp' -exec sed -f ../seds -i {} \;

    The seds script:


    The above line expects that the current working directory is the root of the jsp folder and that the seds script is in the parent folder.

  • Made the switch between setResponse() and sendError() configurable via the servlet filter config.
  • Exposed reverse-lookups of named associations through AssetRelationTreeUtils and MappedAssetAccessTemplate.
  • Added a handy tag to do translation lookups based on a dimensionset after commercecontext.getrecommendation tag calls. A companion tag that takes a single asset as input is probably warranted. Typical syntax for this new tag is:
            <commercecontext:getrecommendations collectionid='${}' listvarname="reclist"/>
            <gsf:translate-list inlist="reclist" dimset="EEGlobal" />
  • Added "property" support. Asset type called GSTProperty, having name, description, value attributes, can now be loaded into memory and accessed by name inside a JSP via EL. Useful for constants, hard-coded values, etc. that need to be accessed in a web page.


  • Improved the documentation for the groovy integration.
  • Improved documenation for MVC and DI frameworks
  • Changing website deployment descriptor to github.
  • Integrating action/groovy documentation into the main documentation.
  • Adding a page on standard variables used throughout the framework.


  • Adding documentation for the sample projects.
  • Adding sample avisports gsf rewrite
  • Adding some more samples for mobile aware sites
  • Adding the gsf-mobile project. This holds features for mobile devices. For now it adds device detection.
  • Adding sample for NavigationService
  • Also added a show case on how to access Spring beans from a factory. * Adding some more samples, on
    • how to use a Mapper to create a bean from AssetData
    • how to a create your own service
    • how to register you own context/service factory