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From "Jeff Schnitzer" <j...@infohazard.org>
Subject RE: MVC (Servlet-->JSP) to XSLT delegation example or framework?
Date Sat, 09 Jun 2001 08:19:48 GMT
This is probably a good time to bring up a project that a friend and I
have been working on and are hoping to get adopted into the Apache XML
project some day:


Maverick is a simple, lightweight MVC web application framework which
allows you to use XSLT directly for view templating.  The MVC separation
is similar to Struts or WebWork, but in addition:

. Your JavaBeans models are automagically adapted (using Java
reflection) to a DOM representation for use by the XSLT engine.  There
is no need for intermediate templating languages like JSP or XSP, and
the overhead of generating and parsing XML is eliminated.

. You can configure an arbitrary number of successive transformations
for each view.

. You can halt the transformation proccess at any step and output static
XML for designers to work with.  Just add a special request parameter to
the URL.

. Static content is seamlessly integrated, offering the same
transformation pipeline options.

It also works well with JSP templating, either for producing XML or for
rendering HTML directly.  In fact, even without XSLT, Maverick makes a
pretty good MVC framework - you can mix and match templating engines,
allowing XSLT to be introduced over time.

Here is a short snippet of a sample Maverick configuration file, which
should give a pretty good idea how it works:

  <command id="runQuery">
    <controller type="org.infohazard.example.controller.RunQuery" />
    <view id="success">
      <source-model node="result"/>
        <transform src="queryResult.xsl" />
        <transform src="lookAndFeel.xsl" />

    <view id="error">
      <source-model node="error"/>
        <transform src="queryFailed.xsl" />
        <transform src="lookAndFeel.xsl" />

This pattern (which uses the "domify" adapter) allows JSP and custom tag
libraries to be wholly replaced with XSLT's much more elegant (IMHO)
syntax.  Note that the adapter only calls methods on the JavaBeans model
as the transform engine navigates the DOM, so unqueried parts of the
bean graph are never touched.

Regarding the need to provide different types of content (HTML, WML,
etc):  There are a couple approaches one could take.  One would be to
have "runQueryHTML" and "runQueryWML" commands whose views run though
different transformations.  Alternatively you could have the controller
detect the agent and then forward to "successHTML" or "successWML"; this
logic could even be put in a controller base class.

Who can I talk to about offering this to the ASF?  I realize that there
is significant overlap with Cocoon, but Jakarta has both Struts and
Turbine, so maybe the XML project is underrepresented by web publishing
frameworks :-)

The reasons I think Maverick would make a good Apache project:

. The "domify" adapter is useful by itself and can be broken out into a
common project.  Cocoon (and other projects) may want to use it.

. The MVC framework can use just about any templating engine either to
produce XML or for direct output.  This provides another framework
option for Velocity users.

. Maverick should be familiar to users of Struts, but has much, much
more comprehensive support for XSLT.

. Maverick offers a second option for XSLT web publishing to all the
people that are scared off by the sophistication/complexity of Cocoon.

. It's pretty much release-quality.

Is this something that would be of interest to the Apache community,
either now or in the future?

Jeff Schnitzer

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curt Smith [mailto:smithc04@dcor.state.ga.us]
> Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 10:42 AM
> To: general@xml.apache.org
> Subject: MVC (Servlet-->JSP) to XSLT delegation example or framework?
> Greetings,
> I'm needing to assemble a best of bread server side 
> architecture to support multple
> client types (HTML, VXML, WML).
> The appserver vendors have their wireless/mobile framworks 
> that are a range of
> proprietary and not-well designed frameworks.   The Bluestone 
> wireless framework
> is MVC at least.  But I'd prefer source with the framework 
> since the controller Servlet
> usually needs custom domain specific code.
> I'm looking for any subcomponent or whole parts of the 
> framework that delagates
> from the View JSP to XSLT to form the final output stream.
> How about an example of how a JSP delegates to Xalan.  
> There's a sample
> servlet but not how a JSP might delegate it's output to an 
> XSLT input and the
> transformed output being sent to the http.response stream??
> Thanks for any helps.
> curt
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