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From Greg Reddin <l...@reddin.org>
Subject [Standalone Tiles] Tiles Refactoring Part 2
Date Thu, 06 Oct 2005 15:27:19 GMT
I hope no one who has worked on Tiles in the past - especially Cedric  
- takes offense to this because none is intended. But here goes...

Every time I dig into Tiles I'm overwhelmed by the complexity of the  
API.  IMHO, it seems like Tiles employs way too many classes to do  
it's job.  I wanted to do the work required to extract the Servlet  
API dependencies, but I'm finding my brain is not able to think about  
all the pieces at one time.  So, my proposal is to further refine the  
API to simplify it as much as possible.  Ideally, I'd like to pare  
the internal API back to just the bare essentials.  I'd like  
developers who are new to Tiles to be able to follow the code path  
easily to solve problems and figure out what's going on.  Just like  
the last refactoring I did, this work will not change the way users  
configure or use Tiles from a JSP perspective at all.  I hope the end  
result will be a simplified Tiles that makes a lot more sense when  
you dive into the code.  So here's some questions for the list:

1.  Is this worthwhile?  If it ain't broke should I avoid fixing it?   
On one hand it's worth it to me simply because enhancements to Tiles  
are not easy right now.  OTOH, I don't know how many enhancements  
Tiles really needs.  It pretty much does what it needs to do and it  
seems like most enhancements are related to porting it to other  
architectures.

2. Will this step on someone's toes?  I really don't want to divide  
the community by doing this.  This is not a case of "your code sucks  
so I'm going to fix it", but just a case of me wanting to simplify  
things so it's easier to keep up with.  I'd be happy to work with  
anyone who was involved in creating Tiles initially to understand why  
the complexity is necessary or whatever.  Honestly, I haven't seen a  
post from Cedric in quite a while so I wonder if he's moved on to  
other things.  I fully expect to be flogged if I do something stupid :-)

3.  Please be patient.  It's taking me a while to walk through the  
code paths and figure out what can be factored out or simplified.  If  
anyone else wants to help, feel free to email me and maybe we can  
figure out a collaboration method if the dev list doesn't work.  I  
have no idea how long this will take so I hope there's not a huge  
demand for the integration of standalone Tiles (or that there's other  
willing hands).

Greg

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