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From Tim Larson <...@keow.org>
Subject [Proposal] Web based GUI development environment for Cocoon
Date Fri, 02 Apr 2004 21:13:28 GMT
I propose we create a web based GUI development environment for Cocoon
build using Cocoon technology, such as CForms, flow, portals, etc.

This GUI would allow designing and editing sitemaps, CForms models,
templates, and bindings, OJB configuration, flowscripts, java source,
and so forth.  It would also have provisions for debugging via tools
like the profiler, and have file and project importing and exporting
to allow for the use of client-side tools like Eclipse and XML editors.

There would be many ways we could display this; here is one example:

  Picture a web page with frames:

  Top frame
    Tabbed selection of clickable svg data/control flow diagrams.
    Each object in these views has links to:
      The source code for the object.
      Documentation relevant to the type of object.

  Main frame:
    Displays the things clicked on in the top frame.
    Source code will be displayed will be:
      Editable.
      Backed by revision control.
    Source will have multiple views selectable via tabs:
      Source text view.
      HTMLArea, Kupu, etc. views.
      Data model view with:
        Drop-down lists and fields.
        Context sensitive developer help
      Prototype view like an end user would see, but with:
        Clickable drilldown to edit the underlying model or source code.
        Context sensitive help.

  The fine-grained context sensitive help in the various views would:
    Use i18n catalogs or some other internationalization technique.
    Include:
      Guidance via best practice information and links to alternatives.
      Overview/general explanation
      Technical documentation
      Sample code and possibly screenshots, svg's, etc.

A tool like this will help solve many issues.  We could work from any
computer with just a browser, we would have a very focused way via the
fine-grained context-sensitive help to guide our users away from worst
practices and toward best practices, we could show developers a
clickable overview of their code, integrate CMS-style workflow into
the testing and deployment of sitemaps, forms, etc., and we can take
information scattered across multiple files and show it in a variety
of meaningful groupings, such as for a CForms widget we could have a
view where the widget definition, template, and binding can all be
viewed and edited together even though these parts are split across
several files.

WDYT?

--Tim Larson

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