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From David Sean Taylor <da...@bluesunrise.com>
Subject j2-admin refactoring in 2.2
Date Tue, 15 Jan 2008 07:52:16 GMT
I would like to start a discussion on the j2-admin refactoring for 2.2

 From a discussion with Ate:

One thing I think we really need to determine first is what the goal is.

I can easily think of many different ones, like:

1 - only rewrite (one or more of) of the portlets but stick to the  
current features and (most of the) ui,
   just to build up experience with Wicket and see how it goes

2 - allow a ui design overhaul but stick to the current features
3 - allow for some functional redesign/improvements (dangerous: when/ 
where to stop)
4 - do a complete functional overhaul, e.g. like for the security  
portlets, (like JS2-27, JS2-241)

My current idea is we probably should start with the first or  
possibly second goal, anything beyond that is very difficult to  
manage and plan for.

I agree that a first prototype is best. Which portlet?
Well, many of the portlets are actually made up of two portlets, such  
as the User Manager or Role Manager
But we still do not have JSR-286 support
So maybe its best to combine the browser and details portlets into  
one portlet.
There are advantages to both approaches.
The interesting part of separating the browser from the details is  
that the browser can be used in combination with other details.
Too bad the 286 support isn't resolved yet

I think the Role Manager would be an interesting one to start with.  
Its not as complicated as the User Manager, but has the 1 to many  
type requirements that recur in many other admin portlets.
Of course this is open to discussion and I invite your comments.

Before we go too far I would to give anyone who believes JSF is a  
better choice for writing the admin portlets a chance to speak up now.
I think there are some advantages to JSF, such as being the standard,  
and having a rich set of components.
What I like about Wicket is that it is component-based and  
extensible. I am always dealing with extending the admin portlets,  
especially the self-registration.
I would like to see how easy it is for someone to extend a Wicket  
component, can anyone explain that in a paragraph or so?

Other requirements I am looking to properly implement this time around:

1. Virtual -- all browser must be virtual. We should not load all  
users into the user browser
2. Extensibility - we need an easy way for users to customize and  
extend the admin portlets
     where we have done a decent job with this in portlets like the  
User Details, having a large set of preferences,
     I recently went through extending the User Registration portlet  
and kept running into hard-coded features
     All hard-coding has to go and we need to better consider how  
users can easily extend the portlets
     I am hoping leveraging Wicket can help here
3. Document features in help mode, about mode. The admin portlets are  
not well documented. Lets not neglect that responsibility this time  
4. support edit_defaults in all portlets
5. Notifications - not all, but some portlets are not properly hooked  
into notifications (such as deployment events -> PAM portlet)
     or the profiler portlet is not notified of profiler changes made  
during an import.
6. Software Design - lets do a prototype first. then check it in for  
review and comment, and iteratively design from there
7. Web Design - I believe the portlets should be skinned with a new  
decorator to introduce a new, modernized feel to these web1.0 portlets
8. Web 2.0 - make use of any web 2.0 features available in Wicket  
(again I plead ignorance to these features)
9. leverage the Jetspeed AJAX API where applicable

Finally, I want to move the j2-admin application out of Jetspeed and  
into a new Portals project, Portals Applications
I know that j2-admin can only be used by Jetspeed, but I am of the  
opinion that it should be released on its on release cycle

David Sean Taylor
Bluesunrise Software
[office] +01 707 773-4646
[mobile] +01 707 529 9194

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