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From Ate Douma <...@douma.nu>
Subject Re: wysiwyg editor for layout decorator
Date Fri, 13 Jul 2007 07:31:50 GMT
Edgar Poce wrote:
> Hi,
>  I'd like to have a portlet that allows the user to customize the
> layout with a wysiwyg user interface. AFAIK j2 doesn't have this
> functionality, in case I'm right I'd like to try to implement it,
> could anyone comment some tips about how it should be implemented? I'd
> like to ask a more specific question but it's not clear to me how the
> layout rendering works. The documentation I found in the site is
> oriented to designers[1] and doesn't provide information about how the
> decoration can be extended.
I think it would be great to have such a portlet, but as you know our decorators really are
script based, Velocity and recently with JS2-711[1] JSP.
And the current implementation is highly dynamic and coding intensive as these scripts pull
in and process a lot of context information to render the output.

In retrospect, especially when I saw the amount of scripting needed for the JSP based decorators,
I've come to the conclusion we can and should provide a better 
environment with a real decorator engine and api to make this much easier with the next release.
When we have such a decorator engine in place, defining and implementing custom decorators
(both layout and portlet) should become much easier, and require far 
less "code" scripting, if at all. And it would be one of my goals to actually separate the
layout markup templates from the scripting completely.
I'm also involved in the Wicket project[2], and that really allows you to design and style
and modify the markup in any xhtml capable editor without need to 
touch the code/scripting behind it.
I'm not (yet) suggesting we should plug in Wicket as decorator engine (although it would be
interesting to try), but my goal is functionally similar.
(Maybe also interesting in this context is that I'm currently working on bringing real portlet
support to Wicket[3,4])

When we would have this, it should be very simple to allow editing (and adding) layout decorators
in a WYSIWYG portlet indeed.

I'm not sure this is the answer you'd like to hear as getting there is still very much in
the future.
But if you're interested and like to help out with this, you've got my support and I think
a lot of others might be willing to help out too.



[1] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/JS2-711
[2] http://incubator.apache.org/wicket/
     (note: Wicket has just graduated from the incubator and we will have our own TLP soon
at http://wicket.apache.org)
[3] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/WICKET-647
[4] https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/WICKET-658

> thanks in advance,
> edgar
> [1] http://portals.apache.org/jetspeed-2/guides/guide-decorators.html
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