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Subject RE: Summer of Code
Date Wed, 03 May 2006 15:57:53 GMT
JSF *really* needs this agility with CRUD scaffolding.  I've been thinking though with JEE
5 and the EJB 3 adoption, that you couldn't produce something similar to your proposal that
works off of pure EJB 3 metadata define the pages.  Something like:





This way, you could have your EJB 3 annotated model and without doing any model wiring, these
components would work by Class type to handle persistence/UI concerns directly without hand-holding.

As for templating with Facelets, Rick Hightower published something similar at IBM:

He says he has another article on the topic coming out soon.

Overall, the need you are describing is obviously there.  I wish JBoss would've pursued this
route more actively with Seam's UI library.

-- Jacob

>Hello. It is not a comlete proposal, but I rather want to know your opinion
>on the project i'm working on. It is not straight myfaces codebase related,
>but you seem as most appropriate mentor. I planned to work on it before I
>knew that there is SoC. But may be you will convince me of its uselessness.
>Recently I have been writing application using jsf. The application is
>mostly CRUD. I think that there is much glue code that can be eliminated.
>All that identical CRUD backing beans, forms, dataTables, navigation rules.
>It is all powerful, but it should be possible to eliminate it until you need
>something not very trivial. This is the principle which the Ruby on Rails
>growing popularity came from.
>There arises a need to define rules of generating it all based on
>information about a data model. Code generation tools are insufficient.
>Imagine, you have generated all the beans and views, than provided some
>changes to some of them and than you want to add small change to the
>template or, say, add a field to the domain object. Now you are left on your
>own to manually change it everywhere it is used.
>I propose to extend facelets templating abilities to be able to encapsulate
>all that routine tasks into templates. See:
>1) <template name="templateName"> marks any part of view definition as a
>2) <insert name="insertName"> marks parts of the template as redefinable.
>3) <define name="insertName"> redefines redefinable parts during particular
>template usage.
><insert template="templateName"> inserts template and if it is being used
>inside another template definition it automatically marks redefinable part.
>It can contain only <define> tags. Other tags inside it are treated as tags
>inside <define> without name property defined.
>With <insert name="insertName"> used during particular template usage you
>can insert part of template marked as redefinable.
>Than we should generalize data CRUD interfaces and provide implementations
>for technologies/contracts we use to implement business layer. I plan to use
>very simple and extendable interfaces.
>Let's assume that
><data provider="reflectionDataProvider" var="lastItem"
>object="#{itemsService}" methodName="getLastItem"/>
>will get the Item object from getLastItem method and set lastItem variable
>to Map containing Item object properties as keys and their values as values.
>Now the dream is to use
><insert template="map" data="#{lastItem}"/>
>to create simple edit form.
>See how we can create such a template:
><template name="map">
>    <c:forEach items="#{data}" var="pair">
>        <insert template=".field" name="#{pair.key}" dataMap="#{data}"/>
>    </c:forEach>
><template name="map.field">
>    #{key}:
>    <isType name="bool" var="#{dataMap[key]}"><insert
>template=".bool"><insert name="validator"/></insert></isType>
>    <isType name="java.lang.String" var="#{dataMap[key]}"><insert
>template=".string" name="validator"/></isType>
>    <isType name="html" var="#{dataMap[key]}"><insert template=".html"
>    <isType name="java.util.Map" var="#{dataMap[key]}"><insert
>template=".object" name="validator"></isType>
><template name="object.field.bool">
>    <h:selectBooleanCheckbox value="#{value}"><insert/></h:inputBoolean>
><template name="object.field.string">
>    <h:inputText value="#{value}"><insert/></h:inputText>
><template name="object.field.html">
>    <t:inputHtml value="#{value}"><insert/></h:inputHtml>
><template name="">
>    <insert template="map" data="#{value}"/>
>where for <isType> there is a helper TagHandler, which evalutes its body if
>var is of pointed type. It is decided based on user-provided algorithm. It
>allows to do such things as automatically providing textarea for long texts
>and so.
>It is not necessary to divide all this functionality to many templates, it
>can reside in only one.
>Now you can, for example, define special validator for itemUrl field of
>lastItem object:
><insert template="map" data="#{lastItem}">
>    <define name="itemUrl.validator">
>        <t:validateUrl/>
>    </define>
>And for other fields we can add into template default validator, which will
>validate them using hibernate validator annotations.
>Or we can redefine all components used to represent itemUrl property:
><insert template="map" data="#{lastItem}">
>    <define name="itemUrl">
>        #{lastItem.itemUrl} - url of item description
>    </define>
>Or we can extend or partially redefine map.field template to differently
>handle some types.
>Actually, for short it is display only sample. It is not a comprehensive
>description of my ideas. We will be able to write
><data var="actualItems" object="#{itemsService}"
><insert template="object" data="#{actualItems}"/>
>to represent a complete CRUD interface for data
>model with an ability to drill down to assotiated objects. And you still
>have an ability to partially redefine default templates behavior. I call it
>Smart UI. And important point that it does not impose any requirements to
>your other view code. You can use it anywhere in facelets pages definitions.
>And than you can easily scale introducing backing beans, navigation rules or
>anything else only when you need it.
>Feedback is appreciated.
>View this message in context: 
>Sent from the My Faces - Dev forum at

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