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From Paul Sharples <>
Subject Re: Core vs Non-Core
Date Wed, 11 May 2011 15:16:03 GMT
On 11/05/2011 16:02, Scott Wilson wrote:
> On 11 May 2011, at 15:37, Scott Wilson wrote:
>> On 11 May 2011, at 12:29, Scott Wilson wrote:
>>> On 11 May 2011, at 12:08, Ross Gardler wrote:
>>>> On 11/05/2011 10:21, Scott Wilson wrote:
>>>>> Just kicking off a new thread here, as its something we need to think
>>>>> about for future direction.
>>>>> The core purpose of Wookie is to be a W3C Widget server, however it
>>>>> also does some "other stuff". At the moment, we build the whole
>>>>> project in one go. However, it may be useful to have non-core modules
>>>>> as optional builds rather than core functionality.
>>>>> Steve mentions Wave as one example. The Wave feature is a very nice
>>>>> one, but isn't a core W3C Widget feature. So this might be factored
>>>>> out into an optional module (you could use either the Java/DWR or
>>>>> NodeJS implementations)
>>>>> Another one is JCR support. Currently Wookie is built with both JPA
>>>>> and JCR persistence - should JCR be an optional, pluggable module
>>>>> rather than built-in?
>>>> How do you imagine these optional components being managed? At build time?
At runtime?
>>>> The holy grail would be auto-configuration at runtime. That is, if a widget
indicates it requires a non-core feature Wookie tries to find an implementation, downloads
it and installs it (obviously with tight admin controls).
>>>> Currently we require features to be added at compile time. This is not very
satisfactory. Whilst considering what is/is not core we perhaps ought to think about an extension
mechanism too. I'm not suggesting holding up progress on this proposal until we have an extension
mechanism ready. Buildtime configuration is fine as a starting point, but having a vision
of where we think we are going would be a good idea.
>>> Yes, for feature installs I'd really like to do something better than what we
have now. There really is no reason these have to be Java classes, they could just as easily
be XML config files loaded at runtime; they were patterned after the Wave feature extension
which had a lot more server-side custom code, but that may be better treated as the exception
rather than the template.
>>> So a future model could be feature packages with:
>>> /myfeature
>>>      feature.xml
>>>      (various js and css files)
>>> ... where "feature.xml" is something like:
>>> <feature>
>>>    <name></name>
>>>    <script src="jquery-1.5.min.js"/>
>>>    <script src=""/>
>>>    <stylesheet src=""/>
>>> </feature>
>>> (which is quite similar to how Shindig manages features)
> As this is something I've been meaning to do for ages, I added a ticket for it and went
ahead and implemented this. Its quite a bit of refactoring (mostly deletions) but it doesn't
look like it breaks any tests.
> The new approach loads Features on start by inspecting the /features folder of the local
installation and then creating Feature objects for each valid feature.xml file. It holds these
in a static List rather than saving them in the database (its only ever going to be a few
small objects and doesn't need any query support).
> This could be extended relatively easily to include a folder watcher to dynamically install
features (similar to widgets) or to dynamically discover and install features if they're needed
for a widget (the UC Ross mentioned above) as Feature no longer require any compilation steps.
> I'm ready to commit this - I just wanted to give everyone a chance to comment/object
before I went ahead.

+ 1

>>>>> Here's my strawman:
>>>> JQuery Mobile is one of many possible frameworks so I'd make this non-core.
>>>> As a general guide I would say anything added as a<feature...>  in
config.xml should be non-core.
>>>> I'd also make the widget examples non-core as they will clutter up a live
install. It's easy enough to add something to the CLI along the lines of:
>>>> wookie installPack widgetSamples
>>>> This would get a list of widgets in the "widgetSamples" pack and deploy them
to a running instance.
>>>> I have an idea for how this "pack" thing could work. It's just a convenience
for managing groups of widgets from the command line. If we manage to get runtime deployment
of features then these packs could include appropriate features. I'll implement this in the
CLI if we head in this direction.
> +1 sounds good, I like the idea of "packs".
>>>>> (NB this is just the server, not the connectors sub-project)
>>>> +1 I don't think any of the connectors should be part of core. They are for
deployment on other platforms.
>>>>> I'm not sure about "services" (effectively, tags) as to whether this
>>>>> really is Wookie core functionality or something a "widget store"
>>>>> like Rave's would add on top, e.g. user-generated tagging.
>>>> I have no idea what they are for, so I guess they are not core for me ;-)
>>>> Ross

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