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This page discusses ideas for a WOBuilder replacement / successor / clone and ideas how to achieve it. Below are excerpts pasted from various ideas from the WO mailing lists. Please add and update your ideas here to keep the page up to date.

A separate page for active projects is available here WO Builder Tasks .

General Idea for additional tool: Split WYSIWYG/web designer and developer needs

We could focus on a much lower target in addition to the WOBuilder replacement : plugins for both DreamWeaver and Golive (or .wo -> HTML -> .wo conversion tools) that allow web designers to edit a WO component without destroying the WO tags. I believe the WO developer tasks and the WYSIWYG appearance tasks are completely separate activities, often done by different people, and with entirely different requirements.

General Feature Wishlists

We do NOT need a WYSIWYG WOBuilder replacement. We need an editor that, like WOBuilder, displays the organisation of the component, not the way it will be rendered in a browser. It's fine by me if someone wants to go down the path of developing a separate tool that previews what a component looks like in a browser, CSS and all, but in my opinion that is a waste of time because the rendered result would be so heavily dependent on the data and functionality of the WO application. The only real way to preview a component is to run the WO app and look at it in a browser.
Although a WO development plugin for a commercial Web editor would be nice, I too don't want to buy and learn DreamWeaver. I use Golive.

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I'd like to have the ability to triple-click on a <webobject name="blah"> tag in Eclipse's HTML source view and have it select that tag up to and including the corresponding </webobject> end tag. Just like in WOBuilder. I find this immensely useful for all HTML editing. In fact, not just limited to webobject tags, but also regular HTML tags such as <table> </table>, etc.

Another thing I think could be useful would be the object browser being available in some sort of hybrid HTML/graphical source view. What I mean by this is instead of having a wysiwyg mode, the layout mode could use tag objects that you could drag and drop from the object browser to in order to set bindings. Of course, we'd need a tag inspector as well. I hope that makes sense. It does in my mind.

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I never really understood the hype surrounding WOBuilder's Preview view and have only used it a few times with disappointing results.
The WOBuilder replacement should, however, have a Source and Layout view and allow the same (or better) ease of switching back and forth between the two views with selections of components from either view carrying into the other view. In a complicated HTML hierarchy, I've found this capability among the most helpful of services that WOBuilder offers.

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I heavily rely on the visual display of the relationships of the components on the page: this is inside that, which is before that, and so on. As long as this is clearly, graphically displayed, I can do without the HTML rendering. One proviso: we still use tables a lot because of the CSS problems with MSIE, so some visual rendering of tables would be useful.

The value of the object browser is not just that you can browse actions and keys of your classes, and set bindings, but that you can add keys and actions safely into existing code. This part of it just cannot be emphasised enough; it is a big productivity gain compared to normal editing, refactoring IDE or not.

Absolutely. WOBuilder might have some serious flaws, but it has many of these almost invisible features that turn out to be key in the rapid, safe, high-level development of WO applications without getting bogged down in the code.

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For the BVM - that's the Baby's View Modeler that would substitute WOBuilder - I'd like I could start working from a high resolution graphic or SVG design made by a professional designer.
I would then go along marking areas on the picture and saying 'this is going to be a WOForm; these, WOButtons', so that the corresponding web server resources would be automatically created (and properly linked) at different resolutions for different CSS "media" tags, browsing device capabilities, user preferences, etc.

In the BVM too I'd like to be able to select a flow, or more than one, of page portions1 that would be presented in some meaningful sequence to the client browser2.

1 something like the flowing you can do in Acrobat,
2 something like a wap stack.

I know I'm showing my bias thinking again on small real state devices, but if it is awkward to develop for three different desktop browsers, developing for a myriad of small devices is plain crazy. All this should be automated from the beginning to the extreme... and the extreme could be some clever D2W presentational rules that would even take into account if the presentation flow is going to be managed from the server or from the client (some small devices are really stupid). On second thought, something similar could prove useful too for designing whatever substitutes ajax in the future

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Implementation Ideas

We should also make a list of how it can be done. I think the options are:

A plugin for DreamWeaver, GoLive... (akin to the Lasso plugin)

I was thinking that a Dreamweaver plugin would make WebObjects more corporate friendly. Maybe there is a second tier company that would like to step up to the plate... Softpress' Freeway or such? Seems like it could be in their best interest too.

Earlier attempts about 2 years ago. I tried to contact the authors if code is available as a starting point: http://lists.apple.com/archives/webobjects-dev/2004/Jul/msg00719.html
and http://lists.apple.com/archives/webobjects-dev/2004/Jul/msg00700.html

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See general idea about a separate WYSIWYG tool (in addition to the WOBuilder replacement for developers).

Eclipse plugin

See existing code and ideas in WOLips and from Tapestry plugins, which could be used as ideas for a WO Builder replacement:

Has anyone used eZingBuilder ? it's a wysiwyg html editor eclipse plugin for tapestry.
http://ezingbuilder.sourceforge.net/cms/

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http://www.aptana.com/ and
http://www.aptana.com/docs/index.php/Plugging_Aptana_into_an_existing_Eclipse_configuration

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A standalone Java app

Good for integration with IntelliJ etc.

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SOPE template editor is available for Mac OS X, could serve as input for a similar solution in Java:
http://www.mulle-kybernetik.com/software/WOEditor/downloads/

A way to call WOBuilder from Eclipse

I don't know if that will be functional after the Java Bridge is gone, probably a short term strategy only.

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Current issues when running WOBuilder with WOLips:
http://www.objectstyle.org/confluence/display/WOL/Using+WOBuilder+with+WOLips

Additional options ?

Above options as listed in http://lists.apple.com/archives/webobjects-dev/2006/Sep//msg00079.html_
Please add options or additional content to this preliminary list, thanks

Fundraising for WOBuilder replacements

Idea to fund a first prototype with community donations, eg. using PayPal or similar. Donation ideas between $ 50 - 500 (question): http://objectstyle.org/woproject-old/lists/woproject-dev/2006/09/0077.html

We will probably need:

  • Potential interested candidates and volunteers
  • Timeline and Feature Cut (see the different options above)
  • Use JIRA or similar (once the features are defined) to match each feature with a responsible developer ?
  • Decision whether it makes sense to wait for Apple documentation/specifications on old dev tools ? : Quote from Apple: Additionally, we will be providing assistance to the community in the form of specifications, example code, and other contributions that will further bolster existing and new open source tools.

Name for WOBuilder successor

Proposed names WOve, Eclipstick, ...

(There are additional names proposed for a suite of community tools with installer etc. like WOO, WOOS, Wonderland, Wonderlust, Wonderlips or /Web )

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