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From "Alexander Bibighaus" <alexan...@scrashmeow.org>
Subject a UI...something to think about
Date Fri, 06 Jun 2003 03:19:24 GMT
Hi Ojb Developers,

I have a prototype of a User Interface for OJB.  Now, I would like to get some feedback from
the developers to see if its worth pursuing further.
I'm starting out with a small audience so I hope the dev list is not inappropriate. 

I guess my goal would be to put together an Administrative Console that I could donate to
OJB and ideally evolve it into some type of sub project of OJB ( if
that is deemed appropriate )

Right now, I feel that I carefully put together a prototype that conveys enough to discuss.
 While I hope it shows that I'm serious about it,
given my intentions here I simply shouldn't go much further in the implementation without
opening dialog with OJB.

Basically here are my thoughts:

In as few words as possible:

This console is the administrative interface to OJB.   The current prototype provides the
following features:

1. A view into the Repository ie the Descriptor and Connection Repositories.

2. Transparent Crud for all object. This implies:
  * Browsing the objects of a given type
  * Selecting objects of a type to Edit
  * Inserting new objects
  * Removing objects of a type
  * Removing all objects  of  a type

3. Login with a different PB Key

Things you need to know if you look deeper

0. I encourage you to take a look at the code. I welcome further discussion.  Just email and
ask.  I can provide a  war file to play with and/or the src.  Or I could just generate the
javadocs so u can see the basic design.
1. My intention is to keep the UI simple but functional.  I'd rather add more features rather
than concentrating on visual flashy things.
2. I  used Struts (nightly build) and ojb Rc3 to implement this.
3. I have only tested it on Tomcat 4 with JDK 1.4 (linux and windows).
4. There is a lot of thought out design and abstraction under the covers....but it is just
a prototype :) There are bugs lurking, Other things lack too...  I haven't completed javadocs
or written unit tests...
5.  I think there are few html flaws when viewed with Mozilla, but not to far off.

A few things I've already planned for features in the furute

0. Ability to provide additional repository metadata to enhance the UI.  labels, annotations
and such.  This could be done through a UI repository.xml  or other means.
1. Ability to actually modify, create/edit repository elements and export the OJB repository.xml

2. Further enhance to Insert/Edit to support reference and collection descriptors.
4. Enhance the collection of widgets for the Insert/Edit form.   (Currently, A widget implement
an interface and provides a struts tile definition.
    Also enhance so that struts validations can be specified for specific field descriptors
for the Insert/Edit forms
5. Provide a  OQL /ODMG query tool where you could type in your queries and then see your
result set much like the simple search I've prototyped
6. Reverse engineer tables like your current swing app does.
7. Provider further statistics about the current state of the system.
8. UI Extension mechanisms to help people building OJB/Struts based apps.

Here is my web site address where you can view the prototype in action.

http://www.scrashmeow.org/ojb

As a sample use case, you may want to 

Click on repository.
Browse News Articles
Click on one to insert
Save it and browse again.
You can try out the search too.

Hope this stirs some discussion up at least :)  
-alexander bibighaus


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