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Subject Re: So I'm working on...
Date Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:30:20 GMT
Aaron Mulder <> wrote on 29/06/2005 03:04:36 

>    It seems that we've been bitten to some degree by people who are 
> working on things without telling anyone.  I've heard of people working 
> the Gluecode management console (in case it is contributed to Apache 
> and/or Geronimo), and someone recently posted a Jira issue (I think) 
> saying that they've put toegther a prototype directory-scanning hot 
> deployer.  Dain worked on a revised kernel off on his own for a while. 
> I'm guilty of this to at least some degree too.  Who knows how many 
> people are hard at work out there.
>    So I'm starting this thread to talk about what I've been working 
> out "on the side".  I hope that anyone else with a pet project will step 

> forward.  It seems that it would be better for all of us if there was 
> discussion before things came to the "donation" or "integration" phase. 
> It's a lot easier to make any necessary adjustments (or secure 
> in the conceptual phase than in the "pile of contributed code" phase.
>    Anyway, I've been fooling with a JSR-88 configuration tool.  It 
> includes DDBeans, and a facility for dynamically generating a UI to edit 

> the DDBeans and DConfigBeans -- in other words, the J2EE deployment 
> descriptors and server-specific deployment plans.
>    One of the reasons it's still "private" is that I'm not all that
> confident of the approach.  I've got an XML file that describes the GUI,
> and then some code that builds a Swing GUI from that descriptor.  It's
> built in such a way that you could build a web (or CLI) GUI off the same
> descriptor, and it has plumbing for generating dynamic UIs for the
> DConfigBeans.  It seems like a clever approach, but I'm not sure there's
> really a need to support multiple UIs, and I'm also not sure the world
> needs another XML format for describing GUIs.  (I did go to a JavaOne 
> session on this today, but it only covered formats that are tied to 
> only, with XML tags for individual swing widgets, which is not what I'm 
> looking for.)

Your approach is probably fine for a testing tool.  I would like to be 
able to have a look/play with the tool to get a better feel for how it is 
used and its level of usability.  I am wondering whether in the long term, 
specific GUI code will need to be written for the more complex parts of 
the configuration (e.g. security configuration) to make to user friendly. 
I was also wondering (long term again) whether during installation some 
configuration tasks may be more suited to different GUI approaches (e.g. a 
wizard or a graphical display showing relationships between 
objects/servers etc).  It would be good to have some more discussions on 
what is required for installation and configuration and how you see that 
working from a user perspective.  Do you think that information would need 
to be displayed differently when the user is installing as opposed to 
modifying settings?

>    Also, at the end of the day, I think the tool should have a fixed 
> editor GUI for each J2EE descriptor, and only be dynamic for the 
> DConfigBeans.  Being fully dynamic is not really as usable, it seems.

What happens with the JavaBeans (e.g. for the security info) that you 
mention in the "DConfigBeans Starter Info" email.

>    On the other hand, the tool is useful right now to verify that
> DConfigBeans are working right.
>    If other people are interested in looking at / working on / using
> this tool, I'll go ahead and check it in.  I'd certainly appreciate help
> and input.  It would be fantastic if someone would work on the Web or
> command-line UI generation part of it, so it would have more than one
> working UI output.
> Aaron

Look forward to getting more familiar with the configuration code, as I 
think configuration is an area we really need to work out.

Thanks for the writeup on DConfigBeans.

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