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One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545136] Tue, 06 July 2010 13:54 Go to next message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi,

I was wondering, how Sapphire stands compared to all those various binding
projects:

- E4
- Scout (has its own mechanisms for binding)
- Rienna
- RedView (based on Rienna)
- JFace Data Binding
- Nebula (based on SWT/JFace)

I may have missed some, but as you can see, there's already a whole lot of
them out there.
Also those are scattered all across different parts of Eclipse, Platform,
RT, Technology.

Thanks,
Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545175 is a reply to message #545136] Tue, 06 July 2010 18:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Konstantin Komissarchik is currently offline Konstantin Komissarchik
Messages: 937
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi Werner,

Good question. You can find relation to e4 and JFace Data Binding explained in the project proposal.

http://www.eclipse.org/proposals/sapphire/

As to others...

1. Nebula. This is a collection of custom widgets. As such, it occupies the same place in the technology stack as SWT itself. In particular, Sapphire renderer for SWT could leverage Nebula widgets if that made sense.

2. Riena. This is a very broad project that aims to create an end-to-end toolkit for making it easier to build enterprise RPC apps. There is everything from UI to client-server and services architecture. On the UI side there this concept of ridgets. Judging by examples I've seen ridgets are very close to SWT widgets. You get some help with styling and such, but they are ultimately at the same level of the technology stack as widgets. You have to know that you want to create a label ridget or a text box ridget.

3. RedView. This is not an eclipse.org project, which may rule it out in some situations. It is based on Riena ridgets and introduces a declarative UI model. Since the RedView model is over ridgets, which are very close to SWT widgets, it is a similar level of abstraction to e4. By comparison, Sapphire models UI at the level of property editors, which makes the UI definitions more portable (different renderers can choose to present the same property in a different way depending on the capabilities of the UI platform). Even if SWT is your only target, Sapphire's approach makes it easier to drop in a new property editor implementation that is configured to activate based on a certain heuristic and have it immediately take affect across all UI screens written with Sapphire.

4. Scout. This is one that I am least familiar with, but from looking at the posted demos, this basically looks like Riena + RedView. An end-to-end platform for building enterprise apps, with UI just one aspect of the puzzle. Just like RedView, the modeling of UI happens at the level of widgets... text boxes, labels, buttons.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you'd like to learn more about Sapphire, you can read the introduction article:

http://lt-rider.blogspot.com/2010/06/sapphire.html

- Konstantin
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545257 is a reply to message #545136] Wed, 07 July 2010 05:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Andreas Hoegger is currently offline Andreas Hoegger
Messages: 173
Registered: February 2010
Senior Member
Hi Werner

You are right there are already a whole bunch of kind of "similar" projects.

E4: The new release of Eclipse with a lot of deprecation cleanup, code
injection and workbench modeling. Promises to reduce the entry barrier
for Eclipse newbies. Scout will extend the e4 workbench model by its
component model and use injection to access services (the concepts of
Scout and e4 matches by 100%).

JFace Data Binding: An GUI only data binding SWT/JFace dependent. Since
Scout is fully GUI independent we are not making use of JFace data
binding in the framework part.

Nebula: A widget library. Your decision to use Nebula widgets in Scout
applications.

Riena: Of all the mentioned project Riena and Scout have the biggest
overlap. Both of them are projects to build whole application stacks
(multi tier applications). The overlap is mainly in the runtime part.
The Scout SDK (development environment) has more overlaps with the
RedView project. It depends on the project requirements what to use.

Sapphire: Sapphire is a project more on the DSL (domain specific
language) and declarative UI side. To not reduce the language scope
Scout does not use domain specific languages nor declarative UI.

Hope it helps
Andreas


Werner Keil wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I was wondering, how Sapphire stands compared to all those various
> binding projects:
>
> - E4
> - Scout (has its own mechanisms for binding)
> - Rienna
> - RedView (based on Rienna)
> - JFace Data Binding
> - Nebula (based on SWT/JFace)
>
> I may have missed some, but as you can see, there's already a whole lot
> of them out there.
> Also those are scattered all across different parts of Eclipse,
> Platform, RT, Technology.
>
> Thanks,
> Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545258 is a reply to message #545257] Wed, 07 July 2010 06:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Thanks a lot for those.

I'm sure this may help any developer curious of which one to use...

What about the DSL? OR Domain-Specific-Framework mentioned in the proposal.

Can you tell us more about that?

Thanks,
Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545289 is a reply to message #545258] Wed, 07 July 2010 07:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Andreas Hoegger is currently offline Andreas Hoegger
Messages: 173
Registered: February 2010
Senior Member
DSL (domain specific language)
is a language covers a certain domain. DSLs are simplifications of a
programming language to cover a certain domain. So the API of a DSL is a
subset of a programming language. Usually a good DSL has been validated
over several years to ensure the coverage of a domain (not more and not
less). In case a DSLs grow unregulated it ends up in a lot of scripting
code and hooks to include programming language fragments - a mess. A
main reason to formulate a DSL is to avoid the underlying programming
language from people using the DSL. The hiding of the programming
language has mainly two reasons on one side if the underlying
programming language is to complicated and unreadable on the other side
people working with a DSL are not familiar with the underlying
programming language (e.g. business people formulating some application
screens).
A good example of DSL is SQL; The API is good enough to access data of a
database but still clearly defined and simple. Even then some special
statements could not be translated into SQL so people come up with PLSql.

Scout decided to not formulate a DSL. Mainly in order Java is already a
readable and common language and Scout developers are familiar with
Java. Scout is designed for domain independent application development
what makes it difficult to formulate a DSL.

Cheers
Andraes




Werner Keil wrote:
> Thanks a lot for those.
>
> I'm sure this may help any developer curious of which one to use...
>
> What about the DSL? OR Domain-Specific-Framework mentioned in the proposal.
>
> Can you tell us more about that?
>
> Thanks,
> Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545297 is a reply to message #545289] Wed, 07 July 2010 07:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Cheers,
most of us know what a DSL is, but thank you for the contribution.

What is of interest with regards to Eclipse, is whether Sapphire may use
Xtext for its DSL or not?
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545423 is a reply to message #545297] Wed, 07 July 2010 13:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Konstantin Komissarchik is currently offline Konstantin Komissarchik
Messages: 937
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
> What is of interest with regards to Eclipse, is whether Sapphire may use
> Xtext for its DSL or not?

I would put this in the "possibly in the future" bucket.

Sapphire UI definition is a model and it can be serialized into a number of text formats. We chose to use XML because XML makes DSL creation easy. Xtext is lowering the cost of creating a completely-custom DSL, but it is certainly not on par with XML (at least not yet). The other issue is that Sapphire UI definition language must be extensible. A third party contributing a new UI part needs to design a language extension to specify this part. This is trivial with XML. Don't know how Xtext handles this case.

The immediate goal for Sapphire developer tooling is to create a graphical editor to largely remove the need to mess with text in the first place.

- Konstantin
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545582 is a reply to message #545423] Thu, 08 July 2010 06:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
A model in EMF terms?

At least the JAXenter headline suggests it ;-)

Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #545722 is a reply to message #545582] Thu, 08 July 2010 14:21 Go to previous message
Konstantin Komissarchik is currently offline Konstantin Komissarchik
Messages: 937
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
> A model in EMF terms?
>
> At least the JAXenter headline suggests it Wink

I am not 100% clear on what you are asking, but key aspect of Sapphire is that there is a model for the data that presents a standard interface for UI to bind to and captures all the semantic information about the data (biz rules, if you will).

That's a key ingredient in making it possible to generate UI semi-automatically.

- Konstantin
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #561139 is a reply to message #545136] Tue, 06 July 2010 18:33 Go to previous message
Konstantin Komissarchik is currently offline Konstantin Komissarchik
Messages: 937
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi Werner,

Good question. You can find relation to e4 and JFace Data Binding explained in the project proposal.

http://www.eclipse.org/proposals/sapphire/

As to others...

1. Nebula. This is a collection of custom widgets. As such, it occupies the same place in the technology stack as SWT itself. In particular, Sapphire renderer for SWT could leverage Nebula widgets if that made sense.

2. Riena. This is a very broad project that aims to create an end-to-end toolkit for making it easier to build enterprise RPC apps. There is everything from UI to client-server and services architecture. On the UI side there this concept of ridgets. Judging by examples I've seen ridgets are very close to SWT widgets. You get some help with styling and such, but they are ultimately at the same level of the technology stack as widgets. You have to know that you want to create a label ridget or a text box ridget.

3. RedView. This is not an eclipse.org project, which may rule it out in some situations. It is based on Riena ridgets and introduces a declarative UI model. Since the RedView model is over ridgets, which are very close to SWT widgets, it is a similar level of abstraction to e4. By comparison, Sapphire models UI at the level of property editors, which makes the UI definitions more portable (different renderers can choose to present the same property in a different way depending on the capabilities of the UI platform). Even if SWT is your only target, Sapphire's approach makes it easier to drop in a new property editor implementation that is configured to activate based on a certain heuristic and have it immediately take affect across all UI screens written with Sapphire.

4. Scout. This is one that I am least familiar with, but from looking at the posted demos, this basically looks like Riena + RedView. An end-to-end platform for building enterprise apps, with UI just one aspect of the puzzle. Just like RedView, the modeling of UI happens at the level of widgets... text boxes, labels, buttons.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you'd like to learn more about Sapphire, you can read the introduction article:

http://lt-rider.blogspot.com/2010/06/sapphire.html

- Konstantin
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #561152 is a reply to message #545136] Wed, 07 July 2010 05:51 Go to previous message
Andreas Hoegger is currently offline Andreas Hoegger
Messages: 173
Registered: February 2010
Senior Member
Hi Werner

You are right there are already a whole bunch of kind of "similar" projects.

E4: The new release of Eclipse with a lot of deprecation cleanup, code
injection and workbench modeling. Promises to reduce the entry barrier
for Eclipse newbies. Scout will extend the e4 workbench model by its
component model and use injection to access services (the concepts of
Scout and e4 matches by 100%).

JFace Data Binding: An GUI only data binding SWT/JFace dependent. Since
Scout is fully GUI independent we are not making use of JFace data
binding in the framework part.

Nebula: A widget library. Your decision to use Nebula widgets in Scout
applications.

Riena: Of all the mentioned project Riena and Scout have the biggest
overlap. Both of them are projects to build whole application stacks
(multi tier applications). The overlap is mainly in the runtime part.
The Scout SDK (development environment) has more overlaps with the
RedView project. It depends on the project requirements what to use.

Sapphire: Sapphire is a project more on the DSL (domain specific
language) and declarative UI side. To not reduce the language scope
Scout does not use domain specific languages nor declarative UI.

Hope it helps
Andreas


Werner Keil wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I was wondering, how Sapphire stands compared to all those various
> binding projects:
>
> - E4
> - Scout (has its own mechanisms for binding)
> - Rienna
> - RedView (based on Rienna)
> - JFace Data Binding
> - Nebula (based on SWT/JFace)
>
> I may have missed some, but as you can see, there's already a whole lot
> of them out there.
> Also those are scattered all across different parts of Eclipse,
> Platform, RT, Technology.
>
> Thanks,
> Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #561163 is a reply to message #545257] Wed, 07 July 2010 06:15 Go to previous message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Thanks a lot for those.

I'm sure this may help any developer curious of which one to use...

What about the DSL? OR Domain-Specific-Framework mentioned in the proposal.

Can you tell us more about that?

Thanks,
Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #562830 is a reply to message #545258] Wed, 07 July 2010 07:21 Go to previous message
Andreas Hoegger is currently offline Andreas Hoegger
Messages: 173
Registered: February 2010
Senior Member
DSL (domain specific language)
is a language covers a certain domain. DSLs are simplifications of a
programming language to cover a certain domain. So the API of a DSL is a
subset of a programming language. Usually a good DSL has been validated
over several years to ensure the coverage of a domain (not more and not
less). In case a DSLs grow unregulated it ends up in a lot of scripting
code and hooks to include programming language fragments - a mess. A
main reason to formulate a DSL is to avoid the underlying programming
language from people using the DSL. The hiding of the programming
language has mainly two reasons on one side if the underlying
programming language is to complicated and unreadable on the other side
people working with a DSL are not familiar with the underlying
programming language (e.g. business people formulating some application
screens).
A good example of DSL is SQL; The API is good enough to access data of a
database but still clearly defined and simple. Even then some special
statements could not be translated into SQL so people come up with PLSql.

Scout decided to not formulate a DSL. Mainly in order Java is already a
readable and common language and Scout developers are familiar with
Java. Scout is designed for domain independent application development
what makes it difficult to formulate a DSL.

Cheers
Andraes




Werner Keil wrote:
> Thanks a lot for those.
>
> I'm sure this may help any developer curious of which one to use...
>
> What about the DSL? OR Domain-Specific-Framework mentioned in the proposal.
>
> Can you tell us more about that?
>
> Thanks,
> Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #562854 is a reply to message #545289] Wed, 07 July 2010 07:46 Go to previous message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Cheers,
most of us know what a DSL is, but thank you for the contribution.

What is of interest with regards to Eclipse, is whether Sapphire may use
Xtext for its DSL or not?
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #562876 is a reply to message #545297] Wed, 07 July 2010 13:25 Go to previous message
Konstantin Komissarchik is currently offline Konstantin Komissarchik
Messages: 937
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
> What is of interest with regards to Eclipse, is whether Sapphire may use
> Xtext for its DSL or not?

I would put this in the "possibly in the future" bucket.

Sapphire UI definition is a model and it can be serialized into a number of text formats. We chose to use XML because XML makes DSL creation easy. Xtext is lowering the cost of creating a completely-custom DSL, but it is certainly not on par with XML (at least not yet). The other issue is that Sapphire UI definition language must be extensible. A third party contributing a new UI part needs to design a language extension to specify this part. This is trivial with XML. Don't know how Xtext handles this case.

The immediate goal for Sapphire developer tooling is to create a graphical editor to largely remove the need to mess with text in the first place.

- Konstantin
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #562936 is a reply to message #562876] Thu, 08 July 2010 06:18 Go to previous message
Werner Keil is currently offline Werner Keil
Messages: 1083
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
A model in EMF terms?

At least the JAXenter headline suggests it ;-)

Werner
Re: One Framework to bind them All ?! [message #563011 is a reply to message #545582] Thu, 08 July 2010 14:21 Go to previous message
Konstantin Komissarchik is currently offline Konstantin Komissarchik
Messages: 937
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
> A model in EMF terms?
>
> At least the JAXenter headline suggests it ;)

I am not 100% clear on what you are asking, but key aspect of Sapphire is that there is a model for the data that presents a standard interface for UI to bind to and captures all the semantic information about the data (biz rules, if you will).

That's a key ingredient in making it possible to generate UI semi-automatically.

- Konstantin
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