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News: Echo 1.1 Released

  1. Echo 1.1 Released (22 messages)

    Echo provides developers with an object-oriented, event-driven architecture for Web-based application development. New features in Echo 1.1 include enhanced components, new layouts, and rendering improvements. EchoStudio, an Eclipse plugin, has released its first candidate.

    More details at:
    Echo home page

    New features of Echo 1.1

    Threaded Messages (22)

  2. Echo is really awesome. It takes a bit to get your arms around the whole thing, but it is light years ahead of other web based infrastructures for actual "web application" coding (ie. think about things behind a login panel).
  3. You should really look at this[ Go to top ]

    Echo is really awesome. It takes a bit to get your arms around the whole thing, but it is light years ahead of other web based infrastructures for actual "web application" coding (ie. think about things behind a login panel).
    If one has done Swing, it might not take a whole lot (it didn't for me). Other than launching and deployment it is like "normal" GUI app development. I was easily able to take a small Echo app and convert it to a JNLP deployed Swing UI.

    For those of you needing a GUI builder (and those who don't mind one) check out EchoStudio. It is an excellent Eclipse plugin. It is amazing how easy "Web apps" can be. Running the web app takes no effort on your part (as it comes with Jetty). No web app configuring.

    BTW, while Echo and EchoPoint are LGPL, EchoStudio is commercial. Just so you know.
  4. Caution[ Go to top ]

    Although it does look to be very slick, I have to let everyone know that the Echo demo that shows a "SwingSet" like demo of the Echo controls does not work under the latest version of Opera. Also the StyleSheet Demo causes an exception under the latest Internet Explorer.

    By the way, anyone know if you can "Tile" pages like you would in Struts Tiles? By this I mean have a nav, header, and foot fixed with a changing middle content page.
  5. Caution[ Go to top ]

    Well, I would (and have done so) use Echo primarily for intranet applications with a known deployment environment. It's certainly not for public websites. Your question is easy to answer: There are no pages in Echo, it is a component/event framework, not a page-based webframework. Totally different, but yes, you can have the same effect easily.
  6. Re: Caution[ Go to top ]

    Thank you for reporting these bugs. I believe the problems with Opera are due to most all of the demos using an older version of Echo (v1.0.2). We had to make some changes to Echo to accommodate later versions of Opera 7.x no longer allowing JavaScript to invoke the history.forward() method. I belive these changes were introduced in Echo 1.0.4. I really appreciate your reporting of this problem, I did not realize the demo server was running old versions of the demonstration apps. The latest 1.0.x and 1.1.x versions of Echo should properly support the Opera browser.

    As to the other problem with the StyleSheetDemo, I believe it's again a case of bugs-being-fixed-in-later versions. I'm getting a JS error when visiting the StyleSheetDemo in Mozilla on Linux as well. Apparently the demo server is still running version 0.9 of the EchoPoint library. I'll try building a new version of the EchoPoint demo based on the latest EchoPoint (v0.9.5) and Echo versions, and see if that solves the problem. Otherwise, I'll pass a bug report on to the developers of EchoPoint.

    Thanks again for taking the time to point out these problems.

    Best regards
    --Tod Liebeck
      NextApp, Inc.
  7. Re: Caution[ Go to top ]

    I believe the problems with Opera are due to most all of the demos using an older version of Echo (v1.0.2).
    I was thinking it was that. We've built some apps that we tested with current versions of Opera, Mozilla/Firefox and IE and had no problems.
  8. Can Tapestry to that?[ Go to top ]

    I was wondering if Tapestry can do what Echo can?
  9. anybody used echo on realtime projects?[ Go to top ]

    Is anybody used echo on a realtime project for internal applications successfully?
    Or atleast decided to use? if yes, Can you give some strong points in going for echo.
  10. We are using it - after a few succesful tests for internal tool we actually are in the middle of rewriting our product frontend using Echo/EchoPoint (a policy management application sold to over 100 company customers with thousands of users).

    The current frontend is a Cocoon/XSL frontend up against a J2EE server for logic, and we have been able to convert the most feature rich pages in less than 1 week (2 persons).

    I have absolutely no regrets, and the best part is the ability to stay 100% within the same environment and technology (java on the backend, java on the frontend, IDEA for development platform).

    Also the ability to go out and hire a Swing developer and convert him in 1 day is fantastic.

    Both thumbs up for Echo/EchoPoint
  11. sure it can[ Go to top ]

    in fact, anybody can do what echo does - its just a matter of how much time you will spend.

    Tapestry is also component-oriented, but remains more conscious of the underlying technology. It uses HTML templates for component/page layout, and does not enforce JavaScript in any way (although it supports it well). Tapestry can be used on intranet apps as much as on internet ones.

    It may be a little harder to grasp, though. So in its special field, Echo will probably be more productive.

    Christian
  12. "By the way, anyone know if you can "Tile" pages like you would in Struts Tiles? By this I mean have a nav, header, and foot fixed with a changing middle content page."
    Yes, by using JspTemplatePanel/HtmlTemplatePanel, available in echopoint http://echopoint.sourceforge.net, you should be able to achieve this.
  13. I have to say that the only thing that keeps me from adopting echo/echopoint for all my projects is accessibility compliance. Not only because accessibility is important but also because my company works for the italian government and all gov.it sites HAVE to be WCAG level A (at least) compliant.
    I would like to have an opinion from the authors of echo or from people who knows it enough: isn't it possible to have a javascript-free echo? Is it worth thinking of a rewrite of the original code to implement WAI recomendations or we would better just keep using MVC things?
  14. Accessibility (WCAG compliance)[ Go to top ]

    isn't it possible to have a javascript-free echo

    The answer, in short is no. Echo uses JavaScript to help it perform its "automatic application state management". JavaScript usage is integral to how it works.

    Echo isnt "document centric" or "page centric" in the tradiional HTML/W3c sense. It is "component centric" in the same way JSF is (except it pre-dates JSF by 2.5 years). Not being document centric would make it nigh on impoossible to be WCAG compliant. Thats not to say accessibility is not a worthy goal.
  15. Accessibility (WCAG compliance)[ Go to top ]

    >>isn't it possible to have a javascript-free echoThe answer, in short is no. Echo uses JavaScript to help it perform its "automatic application state management". JavaScript usage is integral to how it works.Echo isnt "document centric" or "page centric" in the tradiional HTML/W3c sense. It is "component centric" in the same way JSF is (except it pre-dates JSF by 2.5 years). Not being document centric would make it nigh on impoossible to be WCAG compliant. Thats not to say accessibility is not a worthy goal.
    I did a quick look at the www.w3.org site about WCAG (I've looked a little at accessability before). It addresses web sites and more specifically web content. Echo is not for building Web Sites or web content. It is for creating applications that have a UI that runs in the browser. Sure, if your web site has parts that are applications, then use Echo for that. Using plain html to emulate what you would be doing in Echo would be difficult at best so probably another technology should be used to meet the accessability requirement.

    Oddly, looking through the guidelines, I wonder if coding for IE makes the website incompatible with WCAG. For instance see Guideline 3.
  16. Accessibility (WCAG compliance)[ Go to top ]

    I wonder if coding for IE makes the website incompatible with WCAG. For instance see Guideline 3.
    It does, cross browser compatibility (from IE to mozilla ending up with lynx and vocal browsers) is one of the key points. Anyhow, almost every portal I work on would benefit from being made with echo. Layouts made with JSPTemplate or HTMLTemplate can be appealing enough to represent any kind of content and publishing and business functions could be easily created and mantained with echo/echopoint components, and it's bad that not even a subset of echo could be WCAG compliant. I mean, it would be easy to build a portal/cms/groupware framework with echo, but then it wouldn't be used by people with handicaps. Too bad!
  17. Accessibility (WCAG compliance)[ Go to top ]

    I mean, it would be easy to build a portal/cms/groupware framework with echo, but then it wouldn't be used by people with handicaps. Too bad!
    I don't see how web apps can easily be made to be "rich" and also be used by people with handicaps. Alot of work is involved. So why not provide the correct UI for the correct need. Provide a rich browser client via Echo for those who can use it and provide some other "UI" for other needs. I'm not talking about web sites (alot of things in a portal would fit into the web site category).
  18. We had previously written our own framework so that we could Swing style coding practices, yet render to a 100% html3.2 (with no javascript or cookies) compliant administration console...other than our restrictions at the time this framework is IDENTICAL to Echo in its core. because our requirements were to 1) have our developers creating lots of new components in parallel with maximum internal reuse, 2) be almost as good as a client/server app. Our only regret at that time was that we were maintaining our custom framework ourselves; we don't understand why anybody would develop intranet apps with strong GUI requirements using any sort of page/template page model after that experience. I think everyone should explore at least one such widget based framework.

    The next iteration of this app is being rebuilt using Echo, and i can't believe how nice it was looking only a few days after some of our people (who were basically .NET/ASP developers) were doing. It mostly plusses for them, and only issue that bothers them at all is that you can't go to Borders and buy a really comprehensive book on the framework yet, and that you have to commit to its object oriented model pretty strictly. You don't work with web pages at all when using this framework. And one thing that is very important is that your code is refactor friendly, XDoclet friendly, AspectJ friendly because it isn't based on compiling templates to Java source. :-) This is definitely the framework for people who are not JSP/Struts fans.
  19. Echo is great for intranet apps[ Go to top ]

    I try to find good .Net books at Borders and most are "high level". Nothing compares to the books I can get for Java.

    Suggestion for the VBers/.Netters. Get a good Swing book. Then use the online demos to see how to use the Echo and EchoPoint widgets. You can view source. Thats how I figure out how to use it. Just as good as a book, if not better. Not that I wouldn't appreciate the book. Last suggestion: Get those developers EchoStudio. You'll be kissing ASP.Net (for building apps) goodbye. :)

    BTW, thanks for sharing your experience. Makes me feel good about my decision to use Echo.
  20. Echo is great for intranet apps[ Go to top ]

    I have played with Echo and I love its Swing like API and convenience, however it does not work quite well in Mozilla and confuses Opera (some caching issues, Opera flickers on clicks but shows new app state only if forced to refresh) – both under Linux.
    My guess is that Echo’s convenience has achieved by using whole lot of Java Scripts and multiple roundtrips on server.
    Positioning Echo as intranet tool makes me wonder if Swing applet would work more efficiently and reliable(browser agnostic) as an intranet application UI?
    In combination with Java Web Start such applet looks like good approach. Thoughts? Experience?
  21. Echo is great for intranet apps[ Go to top ]

    I have played with Echo and I love its Swing like API and convenience, however it does not work quite well in Mozilla and confuses Opera (some caching issues, Opera flickers on clicks but shows new app state only if forced to refresh) – both under Linux.
    I've not tested under Linux. Under Windows the browsers mentioned are fine. Hmmm. If the browser was coded in Swing, then they would function the same on all platforms. :)
    My guess is that Echo’s convenience has achieved by using whole lot of Java Scripts and multiple roundtrips on server.
    No need to guess. Their website (and this discussion) tells you that it does.
    When you are developing applications (not web pages), it can' be helped. I think future releases of Echo and/or EchoPoint will attempt to address this in some fashion(the round trips). See the forums for more info.
      There is no way create [rich] applications in current day browsers without Javascript or plugins.
     Positioning Echo as intranet tool makes me wonder if Swing applet would work more efficiently and reliable(browser agnostic) as an intranet application UI?In combination with Java Web Start such applet looks like good approach. Thoughts? Experience?
    Echo can be used for Internet applications. You need to know your audience. A LAN can be just as bad if not worse than the internet. Alot worse.

    If you can cache the applet and applets are allowed (i.e. can install the JRE), then it might be a better choice. But doing a good job of coding an Echo "app"
    will allow a Swing version of it to be easily created. Even generated. If no clientside Java is wanted or needed, then Echo will allow you to code in Java and still have a web app.

    I'm not sure why you would Web Start an Applet.
  22. Echo is great for intranet apps[ Go to top ]

    I'm not sure why you would Web Start an Applet.
    Applet code does not survive browser restart, so if that applet is big enough it will be long time before it will be downloaded again next time. So JWS comes to rescue and cache it, and update it only if a new version is available on server.
  23. Echo is great for intranet apps[ Go to top ]

    I'm not sure why you would Web Start an Applet.
    Applet code does not survive browser restart, so if that applet is big enough it will be long time before it will be downloaded again next time. So JWS comes to rescue and cache it, and update it only if a new version is available on server.
    I guess my point was that there is no reason for it to be an applet if you are gonna JWS it. The Applet class is just a wrapper so it can be delivered in a browser. Probably should have said that so you knew that I knew what JWS is for. :) But the same issue applies.