where are the widgets?

Ive used GWT and I like the widget idea. I assumed that RoR worked the
same. I dont know any HTML and javascript and I dont want to know any.
GWT hides that lower layer from the developer.

What is the equivilant of widgets for RoR - something that will enable
me to implement tabbed panes, and nested lists and all that widgety
stuff without having to write any HTML or Javascript?

Learn HTML & Javascript, it’s necessary and not that difficult.

> What is the equivilant of widgets for RoR - something that will enable
> me to implement tabbed panes, and nested lists and all that widgety
> stuff without having to write any HTML or Javascript?

Learn HTML & Javascript, it's necessary and not that difficult.

Is it neccessary and desirable, or just neccessary because there is no
alternative offered by Rails? Surely a Rails adherent wouldnt be
saying its a good thing having to deal with all that tedious HTML and
javascript stuff?

stefoid,

rails uses helpers to reduce the need to complicated js, ajax and html
development. because it's baased on erb, some html and js are needed
to make templates, but you should use helpers for more complicated or
reused code.

while i don't know about rails support for gwt or mootools libraries,
rails does have helpers for prototype ajax and scriptalaculous:

http://www.rubyonrails.org/api/classes/ActionView/Helpers/ScriptaculousHelper.html

ethan

stefoid wrote:

I think that a Rails adherent would say that you need to learn HTML/JavaScript on your own. Or have another team member do that part and you do only the Model/Controller. Since Rails is MVC and the V entails some HTML/Javascript [that’s how most of us view the web] I’d say they’re absosmurfin’lutely indispensable. Perhaps, given your aversion to HTML, building web applications isn’t a good fit for you. But I can’t imagine a Rails without HTML/Javascript. ActiveRecord sure, but not Rails.

RSL

Just because javascript and html is sitting under the hood doesnt mean
the developer has to write it? How much SQL do you write for instance
when you use Active Record? Or even more extremely, how much assembler
do you write when you use Ruby?

Ah well, I guess its back to GWT and its own particular set of
irritations for me, if there is nothing in RoR that sits between me and
HTMl/javascript.

Russell Norris wrote:

Just because javascript and html is sitting under the hood doesnt mean
the developer has to write it? How much SQL do you write for instance
when you use Active Record? Or even more extremely, how much assembler
do you write when you use Ruby?

Ah well, I guess its back to GWT and its own particular set of
irritations for me, if there is nothing in RoR that sits between me and
HTMl/javascript.

Russell Norris wrote:

hmm, actually, something groovy might be possible.

read this (I just found it)
http://www.manning.com/hanson/hanson_meapch1.pdf

specirfically the part where it has a 'GWT vs Ruby on Rails' section.

the authors seem to think that GWT and RoR are complimentary. i.e. GWT
for the front end and RoR for the back end.

My question is: has anyone done this? How hard is it? Is there a 'how
to' ?

cheers

101001010 01 0101001 010010 0101 01 01010010 100101001001

Seriousness aside... What I do know about GWT is it's some java
library that "compiles" to javascript code using their javascript
component library. That's fairly similar to RJS (Ruby Javascript),
which lets us write ruby to generate javascript statements. However,
there is a huge difference in scope. Typically I write one liner RJS
statements to highlight a div or something. RJS is one tiny sliver of
Rails, which is a full stack MVC web framework.

Does this mean Rails developers are in the stone ages regarding the
building of slick AJAX apps? Not at all! It just means we desire a
lot more control over how things work and look. I would think the
desired developer audience for GWT is vastly different from Rails.

Good luck finding an approach that works for you :slight_smile:

Seriousness aside... What I do know about GWT is it's some java
library that "compiles" to javascript code using their javascript
component library. That's fairly similar to RJS (Ruby Javascript),
which lets us write ruby to generate javascript statements. However,
there is a huge difference in scope. Typically I write one liner RJS
statements to highlight a div or something. RJS is one tiny sliver of
Rails, which is a full stack MVC web framework.

Does this mean Rails developers are in the stone ages regarding the
building of slick AJAX apps? Not at all! It just means we desire a
lot more control over how things work and look. I would think the
desired developer audience for GWT is vastly different from Rails.

I reckon RoR needs to have a serious look at how they view a web page.
Bodys and divs and all that stuff? Why does it need to be modelled
that way? Human beings think more clearly in terms of 'screens' and
'panels' and 'widgets'. If you already have RJS, then it must be
relatively easy for someone to create a layer above where the client
side of RoR currently stops - a layer like GWT that models a web page
in more human-friendly terms like panels and widgets. A layer that
allows the developer to write a web application in 100% Ruby. Woudlnt
that be a nice option for a developer to have?

Is this a heresy because you guys hang your hat on your HTML and
javascript skills?

Levels of abstraction! Levels of abstraction! Wow, well, maybe someday
I'll be able to write my controller...

class ApplicationController
   shopping_site :widgets_and_more, :selling =>
[:old_widgets,:new_widgets,:prototype_widgets], :design =>
"style/retro_shopping.uml"
end

However, the simple fact is that RoR was written by a guy who thinks
MVC, and happens to want to write his own javascript and html. He
wanted that control, and most of your current web designers do like
that level of fine-grained control. In some ways... rails does move a
lot of html into helper methods in a somewhat pointless fashion...

<%= end_form_tag %>
def end_form_tag
    "</form>"
end

I personally don't want to write our whole site in ruby. Our designer
would be out of work as he really doesn't write code, but he does know
html and css exceedingly well. There's plenty of WSIWYG editors out
there, perhaps they need to become rails aware. Microsoft has
certainly done well making frontpage work with their asp of course.

yeah, as I suspected - heresy! Look, it would just be an _option_ -
like any layer that sits on top of a lower level implementation, you
use it as appropriate.

I thought rails was developed with the 'make it fun and KISS'
principle? I dont see how MVC is relevent. As for your designer,
surely his area of expertise is graphic design? Why should ditching
HTML put him out of business? Does he really care that his WYSWYG
editor that he designs websites with has HTML and CSS under the hood or
widgets and widget properties?

bramski@gmail.com wrote:

I think he likes writing html and css himself. It's all about
preferences. Not everyone likes to use all power-goo to make things.
I like to drive a stick because I like more fine-grained control over
my shifting, would an automatic transmission work? sure. But I like
driving a stick. I think you're calling people heretics and it's a bit
uncalled for. If you don't want to write HTML then write something
which is a higher-level construct than html and javascript. I doubt
anyone will complain.

that would be me being the heretic.

the irony is that Rails is all about 'all powered goo' and the
arguments against extending the goo concept to the client side are
exactly the type of arguments that J2EE developers level at Rails.
funny old world, isnt it.

bramski@gmail.com wrote:

Rails was also developed with an 'if you need it, build it'
philosophy. Rails strives to tackle the core common problems in
developing an app. The rest is up to you. If html is a problem, then
write and release your own widget => html framework. I've used some
of them in the past, and they all suck from my experience. For
instance, MS has a 752 page(!) book on developing server controls.
And you know what, it barely scratches the surface.

http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/5728.aspx

Yeah, well hence the subject of this thread - where are the widgets?
Im trying to develop a web application -- Ill leave tools to the
experts.

As for developing them, look to GWT as a model for what can be done.
Its all client side stuff. The intent is to minimise unneccessary
trips to the server. That is, you dont need to go back to the server
for anything that is UI related, except perhaps to restock a widget
that needs more data , for example a very long list.

You could even have your entire application as client side only -- if
it was appropriate.

Is there any question that HTML is a problem? What, is it the pinacle
of anything that could ever be devised to deal with client side web
design?

Some of the goals of the MasterView xhtml template engine for Rails are to make it easier to do WYSIWYG editing while still keeping the productivity of Rails ERB. You can let your designers to the html and css while the developers simply sprinkle attributes in to make it live.

MasterView uses a tag attribute library to accomplish this, but also allows you to keep your views DRY by reusing partials and layouts across them.

MasterView has been designed to be extended and customized by users to build their own widgets to make things easy to use across projects. The initial directive set was started from the Rails helper syntax to make it easy for Rails developers to learn (don’t have to learn something new). The future holds even more powerful widgets encapsulating common functionality (AJAX, custom layout, …)

MasterView is packaged as a gem or plugin and has a generator to get a close to production ready scaffold instantly.

Learn more about the MasterView here
http://masterview.org

http://rubyforge.org/projects/masterview

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Blessings,

Jeff Barczewski
MasterView project founder and core developer

Inspired Horizons Ruby on Rails Training and Consultancy
Register now for St. Louis, MO Feb 22-24, 2007 Rails plus JRuby workshop!

http://inspiredhorizons.com/training/rails

Tee hee hee. You said designers use WYSIWYG editors. Heh.

RSL

If GWT sets the mark for how things should be done, then I don't see why
you don't use GWT. My impression is that you're giving advice on how
Rails should be without knowing it very well. Don't expect Rails to be
the right tool for everyone. There may be better options for what
you're trying to achieve and for how you like to work.

For a pertinent and timely discussion see
http://weblog.raganwald.com/2007/01/what-ive-learned-from-sales-part-ii.html

Michael

If GWT sets the mark for how things should be done, then I don't see why
you don't use GWT. My impression is that you're giving advice on how
Rails should be without knowing it very well. Don't expect Rails to be
the right tool for everyone. There may be better options for what
you're trying to achieve and for how you like to work.

The thread has gone beyond whether there is thet type of thing in Rails
that Im looking for - there isnt. Its more philosophical now - Im just
curious as to why there is opposition to the idea.

I starting to think GWT and RoR are complimentary, but obviously it
would be nicer have a one stop shop. The two tools arent designed to
work together explicitly, so who knows.

For a pertinent and timely discussion see
http://weblog.raganwald.com/2007/01/what-ive-learned-from-sales-part-ii.html

nice link!