Okay, so I went back to trying to use the ajax push control and am having some success, though still a bit clunky.
Something a bit more fundamental... my goal is to populate an output textarea "like" component with the strings that are coming back from my message server. This way, when the amount of strings grows larger then the size of the border of the textarea, scrollbars can be rendered and viewed accordingly.
What can be used in JSF/richfaces for output text areas? All that seems to be available is inputTextArea and that's no good for me.
Examples using the push process show a single outputText control getting updated. While I can simply append strings to the data getter
associated with the value element of the outputText and have it grow as the messages come in, it can potentially force the dialog to stretch indefinitely and I don't want this behavior. There certainly must be some stock component capable of this requirement?