Developing Great Software

Saturday, December 26, 2009

UIComposer On Project Kenai

UIComposer v0.4a Now On Project Kenai

I have created a new project on Project Kenai to house UIComposer which is currently at version 0.4a. 

UIComposer is a Wicket custom control that provides similar functionality as Facebook's "What's On Your Mind" page widget. It is composed of an optional image which can be associated with a link, a data entry field for user input and a button that posts the user's data back to the server using AJAX.

UIComposer comes in many flavors but using it in your applications is easy. All its resources and dependencies are fully self contained. So adding UIComposer is as simple as adding its lib to your project, importing it into your source files and creating the control:
import UIComposer.Wicket.Component.UICompositeWithImage;
add(new UICompositeWithImage("uicomposite", "What's on your mind?") {
UIComposer's use of abstract methods allow tailoring the controls' behavior at run time making it suitable in situations that are specific to each application.

Access to the project's source code is available using Subversion at the following url:
Anonymous access to the repository is allowed but if you aren't already I would recommend you create your own account on Project Kenai to reap the greatest benefit as it affords many resources to developers.
Included in the distrobution is a Wicket application, UIComposerTestApp, for testing its various flavors and ways of using UIComposer.

You will need to install Subversion on your system in order to obtain the UIComposer source code.

If you use Netbeans then you are in luck. Netbeans has excellent integration with Subversion and Project Kenai. In Netbeans, once you are logged in to Project Kenai, you can effortlessly download the project directly into Netbeans, all without leaving the Netbeans IDE.

Please down load UIComposer. Play with it! Try to break it! Provide lots of feedback! Bug tracking is supported via Jira which is accessible from the project's home page on Project Kenai. The more feedback the better UIComposer will be.

Currently UIComposer is covered under the GPL-2.0 source license. I am entertaining loosening the licensing restrictions with the lesser version of GPL but only after considerable thought has been given to doing so.

In the new year I will contribute numerous articles that deal with creating custom Wicket components and UIComposer will serve as an example for many of them. But UIComposer is more than a tool for future articles, it is my contribution to the Wicket community. I hope users of the Wicket framework who need the features that UIComposer provides will take advantage of it, work with me and provide their feedback.

Oh, and one more thing, that mug in the picture at the top of the page is mine :)


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New York, NY, United States
Software Developer