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From "Lin Sun" <linsun....@gmail.com>
Subject [DISCUSS] enhance the assemble server portlet usability
Date Mon, 11 Aug 2008 15:50:50 GMT
Hi,

I'd like to enhance the assemble server portlet's usability.
Currently it is hard to come up with a desired custom server assembly.

For example, I want to create a custom server that provides similar
function as tomcat.   To do this, I picked the boilerplate-minimal,
tomcat and tomcat-deployer to build my custom server.  However, soon I
found out that I am not able to deploy anything to the server, as I
didn't select any plugins to enable command deployer or hot deployer
or console deployer or gshell deployment.    So I went back to the
assemble server portlet and I saw so many plugins related to
deployment, by looking at the plugins under the Deployment category-

org.apache.geronimo.framework/upgrade-cli/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.framework/jsr88-cli/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.framework/jsr88-deploymentfactory/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.framework/offline-deployer/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.framework/online-deployer/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-ear-configurer/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-jar-configurer/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-rar-configurer/2.1.2/car
org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-war-configurer/2.1.2/car

Which one do I pick?  I don't want to select any extra ones... I just
want to enable command line deployer for war modules.  By poking
around the pom.xml files, I think I only need to select
org.apache.geronimo.framework/jsr88-cli/2.1.2/car in addition to
boilerplate-minimal, tomcat and tomcat-deployer.

To improve the usability, I suggest the following:

>From the assemble server portlet, a user can choose what type of
customer assembly he/she wants to build:

- Functional custom assembly
- Application scope custom assembly
- Advanced configuration

Selecting "Function custom assembly" will lead to selection of key
functions of the server, and we can use the category of plugins to
associate functions and plugins.  Instead of displaying all the
plugins, we group the plugins by their function(category) and display
the function only.   I think it would be nice to see some explanation
of each function.   For example:
- Geronimo Core - plugins that provide the core service of the
geronimo server...
- Web Services - plugins that provides the web service stack of the
geronimo server...
- Deployment -  plugins that enables you to deploy apps onto the server...
...

If desired, users have the option to see what plugins are associated
with a function, such as Geronimo Core.   Also, if we want to provide
detailed functions, we can update the category to be more accurate,
such as Deployment: Offline Deployment, Deployment : Command Line
Deployer, Deployment: Hot Deploy, etc.

Selecting "Application scope custom assembly" will lead to selection
of custom applications deployed to the server.  We can also warn our
users that the custom server may not be able to deploy anything.

Selecting "Advanced configuration" will lead to the current assemble
server page that allows a user to select plugins from all the plugins
in local server.   This assumes the user knows the plugins in local
server well.

For all options, we should always display the pre-selected
boilerplate-minimal.

Comments are welcome!  If there is no objection, I'll start working on this.

Lin

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