The proposal is posted here to solicit community feedback, additional project participation, and ways the project can be leveraged from the Eclipse membership-at-large. You are invited to comment on and/or join the project. Please send all feedback to the http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal/thread.php?group=eclipse.technology.laszlo newsgroup.
Rich internet client platforms are becoming increasingly popular, as witnessed by the success of the OpenLaszlo platform, an open source, XML-native platform for developing rich Internet applications that run in any modern Web browser. OpenLaszlo has become a reliable platform for thousands of developers, creating applications with the rich user interface capabilities of desktop client software and the instantaneous no-download Web deployment of HTML. To date, millions of users are have used applications developed for the OpenLaszlo platform. See the OpenLaszlo project page for more information
It is important to have the proper eclipse frameworks in place to support the OpenLaszlo platform, and other rich internet client platforms. These frameworks would allow integration of the client development and the server development, or allow integration of various rich internet client technologies.
The Laszlo Frameworks subproject's goal will be to develop a framework for development of the OpenLaszlo platform, and other rich client platforms, with full support for editing, refactoring, and debugging. The Frameworks would be an extensible such that new language features can easily be added, or other xml/script based Rich Internet Markup Languages, such as XUL or XForms could be plugged in.
Another goal of this project will be to provide the ability to easily and quickly define Eclipse UI Plugins (extension point for views,wizards,dialogs,property/preference pages) using the LZX (Laszlo xml) markup, without writing any Java code. While this is not the primary goal of the project, it has several advantages:
The frameworks would allow creation and testing of OpenLaszlo and other rich client applications . Laszlo frameworks would also provide a rich editing environment for the LZX mark-up language. The editing features would provide content assistance, syntax highlighting, and code formatting for both XML and script.
In addition, the Laszlo frameworks would provide visual editing (WSYIWYG) frameworks. It would support markers for reflecting compilation and syntactical errors. In addition to the editor, the following views would aslo be provided:
The frameworks would provide typical debugging capabilities to the extent allowed by the runtime. This include variable inspection, expression evaluation, and console output.
A major focus of this project will be to bring the broader community of tool developers, application specialists, testers, and day-to-day OpenLaszlo programmers into the development and refinement of this tool.
The Laszlo Frameworks would be be based on the WebTools project, specifically the Structured Editor capabilities (XML Editing). A schema-like XML file would define the xml language grammar (such as lzx). This file would contain the necessary information to provide rich editing capabilities on that grammar. This would include such information such as what icon is associated with a tag, what kind of edit field should be used to edit an attribute, and what are the valid drag drop combinations. Different versions of this file could be used to provide editing of different grammars, such as XUL, or XForms.
One part of the frameworks would be an SWT renderer of LZX. This would allows certain plugins or extension points to be implmented in XML (LZX). For instance, a "view" extension-point would point to the LZX view renderer class, and contain the LZX to define the view. As an example:
<xmp> <extension point="org.eclipse.ui.views"> <view name="A LZX View" class="org.eclipse.laszlo.ViewRenderer" id="org.eclipse.lzxview"> <canvas> <checkbox>a option</checkbox> </canvas> </view> </xmp>
The project will define appropriate extension points that would enable others to provide value-added functionality. These include:
IBM is offering its IBM technology preview IDE for Laszlo as an initial code base (see http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/ide4laszlo). IDE for Laszlo is a technology preview of an Eclipse-based development environment for creating, editing, debugging, and testing applications based on the LZX declarative mark-up language.
IBM has produced two technology preview releases. The first release was based upon the IBM initial contribution to the Eclipse web tools project, and Eclipse 3.0. The second release added the visual editing of OpenLaszlo Applications. The latest release (2.1) was based on the WebTools 0.7.
A demonstration and a gallery of screenshots can be
found at: http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/ide4laszlo.
The goals up to the point of this technology preview have been to develop a functional feature and plug-in set that supports editing and debugging. These goals have been met.
A formal development plan is being formulated, which includes:
This subproject is built on top of the Web Tools project (and thus it's prereqs).
Prospective Interim Leads
Potential Committers / Contributors
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