Discussions

News: WidgetServer Multi-Channel RIA Toolkit 1.7 released

  1. WidgetServer is a component based, server-side, Java/XML rich-client-framework dual-licensed with a commercial license and the LGPL. It enables an application to run as either:
    • an application with a rich Web client based on AJAX (HTML, XML, CSS, Javascript)
    • an application with a simple Web client based on HTML and CSS
    • a standalone application with a Swing GUI,
    • a client/server application with a thin Swing client,
    • or a mobile application on different devices like PDAs or Smartphones
    WidgetServer gives you the choice if you develop a GUI either using
    • HTML markup templates,
    • a Java API like Swing,
    • XML markup
    • or any combination.
    • Why do we think WidgetServer is different from other Toolkits?
      • WidgetServer handles various client technologies with a single API
      • A powerful, template based rendering engine offers full control over the generated HTML/CSS code, whenever needed
      • AJAX is integrated transparentely but can be switched off by configuration completely or for specific (e.g. mobile) browsers only
      • Most GUI event types are supported (Action, MouseMove, Click, KeyPressed, DoubleClick, Select, Scroll, Drag, Drop, ...)
      • A plugin-concept makes the WidgetServer component-set easy to extend
      • WidgetServer is mostly server-side processing. The JavaScript library has only about 1000 lines of code - it is fast and effective
      The new version brings several bugfixes und new features. Homepage: http://c1-setcon.de/widgetserver Demo site: http://c1-setcon.de/widgetserver/demo.html Download: http://c1-setcon.de/widgetserver/download.html Bug tracker: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=118302
  2. Hw about a checklist of questions: 1. Integration with existing technologies: like Spring, Hibernate, existing JSPs/Struts, ect? 2. Customization? Some toolkits make you jump through hoops to change the visual look, or you have to accompany the (comparatively) small generated files with larger javascript libraries to have any hope of getting the effects and looks that you desire. Any better handling here? 3. What if the multi-channel does not interest us? We really need a framework to help develop web applications (in the browser: IE and Firefox) that will act like standard desktop applications. This is a promise of many frameworks but they tend to come with huge JavaScript libraries from 3rd parties. You state that your JavaScript library "has only about 1000 lines of code " --- How does it compare to the frameworks with 10k(+)-100k(+) lines of JavaScript? That should be all for now...
  3. Some fairly good questions, some quick answers. 1. WidgetServer is a standard servlet and will combine other technologies just like any other servlet. Spring configurations can be used as is, no need for further manipulation. As a matter of fact, we have recently integrated a web application for a customer who used Spring for their EJB integration. It was almost too easy to integrate the client EJBs using a Spring configuration. 2. Customization is the name of the game. WidgetServer customizes common object hierarchies and data models along standard routes (the channels). Each channel allows for further customization. Most people may not need it but when needed it may be as simple as modifying the template files for the web channel, to providing Swing optimizations. 3. Use the multi-channel option when and if you want/need it. If you desire to develop a purely browser based application then this a superb choice. The design is straightforward and easily binds to data models, and solves the standard AJAX wishes without any need for JavaScript coding. The framework handles the AJAX aspects transparently and can (automatically and/or per configuration) switch how it is handling the asynchronous transactions based upon the amount of usage. There is no need for a heavy JavaScript library that may take longer for the client to load then the website itself. It is designed to also take the further extreme, customers who do not want ANY JavaScript running. WidgetServer will then perform full rendering for the items. But most likely you will need the full Ajax power, or even something in-between. Just simply having massive amounts of JavaScript is not always an advantage, it may be a disadvantage. The goal of developing an application should be the application, no matter what technology/ies used visual representation, or any other hindrance. WidgetServer was designed from the beginning to allow for a very rapid application development plus allowing for a true visual representation transparency.