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From Aaron Mulder <>
Subject So I'm working on...
Date Wed, 29 Jun 2005 05:04:36 GMT
	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 on 
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 other 
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 more 
discussion before things came to the "donation" or "integration" phase.  
It's a lot easier to make any necessary adjustments (or secure assistance) 
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 Swing 
only, with XML tags for individual swing widgets, which is not what I'm 
looking for.)

	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.

	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.


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