Available since OmniFaces 1.0

The <o:converter> is a taghandler that extends the standard <f:converter> tag family with support for deferred value expressions in all attributes. In other words, the converter attributes are not evaluated anymore on a per view build time basis, but just on every access like as with UI components and bean properties. This has among others the advantage that they can be evaluated on a per-iteration basis inside an iterating component, and that they can be set on a custom converter without needing to explicitly register it in a tagfile.


When you specify for example the standard <f:convertDateTime> by converterId="javax.faces.DateTime", then you'll be able to use all its attributes such as pattern and locale as per its documentation, but then with the possibility to supply deferred value expressions.

<o:converter converterId="javax.faces.DateTime" pattern="#{item.pattern}" locale="#{item.locale}" />

The converter ID of all standard JSF converters can be found in their javadocs. First go to the javadoc of the class of interest, then go to CONVERTER_ID in its field summary and finally click the Constant Field Values link to see the value.

JSF 2.3 compatibility

The <o:converter> is currently not compatible with converters which are managed via JSF 2.3's new managed=true attribute set on the FacesConverter annotation, at least not when using Mojarra. Internally, the converters are wrapped in another instance which doesn't have the needed setter methods specified. In order to get them to work with <o:converter>, the managed=true attribute needs to be removed, so that OmniFaces ConverterManager will automatically manage them.


In the below demo, it was the intent to use <f:convertDateTime> as follows:

 <f:convertDateTime type="both" dateStyle="full" timeStyle="full" locale="#{locale}" />

But this wouldn't even run, it will throw the following exception because the #{locale} isn't available during view build time (for a background explanation, check this Stack Overflow answer).

 javax.faces.view.facelets.TagAttributeException: /taghandlers/converter @62,92 
 locale="" Attribute did not evaluate to a String or Locale: null
     at com.sun.faces.facelets.tag.jsf.ComponentSupport.getLocale(ComponentSupport.java:297)
     at com.sun.faces.facelets.tag.jsf.core.ConvertDateTimeHandler.setAttributes(ConvertDateTimeHandler.java:127)
     at com.sun.faces.facelets.tag.jsf.ConverterTagHandlerDelegateImpl.applyAttachedObject(ConverterTagHandlerDelegateImpl.java:130)

It works as intuitively expected with the <o:converter> as it allows a render time evaluation of attributes.

For another related use case, checkout the <o:validator> showcase page.

Language Full date time pattern
English Friday, April 20, 2018 1:10:48 AM GMT
Spanish viernes 20 de abril de 2018 01H10' GMT
French vendredi 20 avril 2018 01 h 10 GMT
German Freitag, 20. April 2018 01:10 Uhr GMT
Dutch vrijdag 20 april 2018 1:10:48 uur GMT
Arabic 20 أبريل, 2018 GMT 01:10:48 ص
Hebrew 01:10:48 GMT יום שישי 20 אפריל 2018
Chinese 2018年4月20日 星期五 上午01时10分48秒 GMT
Demo source code
<h:dataTable value="#{converterBean.locales}" var="locale">
        <f:facet name="header">Language</f:facet>
        <f:facet name="header">Full date time pattern</f:facet>
        <h:outputText value="#{now}">
            <o:converter converterId="javax.faces.DateTime" type="both" dateStyle="full" timeStyle="full" locale="#{locale}" />
Documentation & Sources

VDL documentation

API documentation

Java source code