Java Chatter and Random Nagging

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Selenium and Echo2 : No good !

Selenium is a test tool for web applications that runs directly in a browser. At my dayjob, they use it with some succes in combination with JSF, thus it seemed only fair to me to use it for testing the webinterface of my petproject (which is created using Echo2). Trying it is easy, simply download the Selenium IDE as a plugin in firefox and start recording.

This is already where it went wrong for me. Selenium needs fixed id's from components to execute its actions on it. Echo2 generates its own id's, outside control of the user. This wouldn't be too much of a probem, however the id's vary between user sessions, thus making Selenium unusable in combination with Echo2. (An Echo-Component does have setId() functionality, but this is only for internal Echo use, lookups and stuff).

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rich User Interface Web Frameworks

In the large and confusing world of UI frameworks, Tapestry, Wicket, GWT, and Echo2 occupy a special place between all the template-based solutions...
  • My personal project uses Echo2, which grants me a lot of flexibility and a both eyecatching and flexible interface which is important for the Rich User Interface I want my application to have.

  • GWT is becoming very popular too. Its usefulness has been proven by all the free applications Google throws at us. Since it is client-side oriented, programmers can only use a subset of Java.

  • Tapestry and Wicket are more hybrid technologies, where the user combines both template-based solutions and Java POJO programming.

  • Adobe Flex is a different breath, and is not directly connected with Java technology, since it can be used with any programming language that supports web services. Which brings us to its major disadvantage, since programming webservices for every application service is a bit more tedious.

What I would love to see however, is an Echo2-like framework that supports Swing server-side programming and compiles into Flash for the client-side. It would allow the same object-oriented style of programming that is used in Echo2 (Swing-like), only this time it would result in a Flash Movie instead of DHTML. This would overcome all the browser-incompatabilities and would create a user experience that would be more fluent than javascript can achieve in the browser. I was googling for such a project a while ago, but nothing turned up. Could be an idea for a new sourceforge project ?