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From Scott Wilson <scott.bradley.wil...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Core vs Non-Core
Date Wed, 11 May 2011 11:29:48 GMT

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>http://jquerymobile.com</name>
  <script src="jquery-1.5.min.js"/>
  <script src="jquery.mobile-1.0a4-patched.min.js"/>
  <stylesheet src="jquery.mobile-1.0a4.min.css"/>
</feature>

(which is quite similar to how Shindig manages features)

> 
>> 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.
> 
>> (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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