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  1. MyFaces Tomahawk
  2. TOMAHAWK-1250

Adobe Flex components as MyFaces JSF components


    • Type: New Feature
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • Affects Version/s: None
    • Fix Version/s: None
    • Component/s: None
    • Labels:
    • Environment:
      Have tested using os [windows xp], browsers [firefox 2.0, opera 9.25, ie 6.0], and app server [tomcat 5.5.23].


      I wished to contribute set of components to give users capability in creating Adobe Flex components as MyFaces JSF components. So users would create the components as normal JSF components and the contribution will create the necessary SWF files and etcetera and link the values of the components back to the managed beans using JSON+Javascript and etcetera.

      Requires ANT during compile time, so have modified the sandbox's POM with the dependency.
      Have tested using FireFox 2.0, Opera 9.25, and IE 6.0 browsers with TomCat 5.5. Also have used Sun's JDK for Adobe Flex SDK [JAVA_HOME].

      The basic design is as follows [will implement it better later] :
      (1) All Flex components must be nested within <s:mxmlApplication /> tag as it is the top component and this tag must be outside the <h:form /> component [due to IE's use of objects].

      (2) There exists replaceMapping XMLs which will tell how to pick the fields from the components [i.e. by attributes of the UIComponent or by method call for that object].

      (3) There exists templates [users can modify it if they wish to have some default capability to all similar component] which will be used per component to create preMxml files. In a nutshell, it is nothing but a simple file that contains tokens which will be replaced by component values using the replaceMapping XML and ANT's Replace Task.

      (4) Necessary source files will be created to their respective directory [i.e. ActionScript file[s] that is/are needed by the system and XML file[s] that is/are needed by the ActionScript files[s] and should be defined within mxmlConstants.xml]

      (5) After all the components' preMxml within <s:mxmlApplication /> have been created, MXML file and SWF file will be created using ANT by the MXMLApplication class. <s:mxmlScript /> will give capability in writing ActionScript contents as the body content of the Tag by extending UIComponentBodyTagBase. Similar flexibility is given to other Tags by extending MXMLUIComponentBodyTagBase; however it should be used sparingly and should be used mainly for components that extend MXMLUISimpleBase component. One additional thing to note is that mxmlPackageName attribute for <s:mxmlApplication /> tag will be used to name the mxml file and the swf file.

      (6) Also <s:mxmlApplication /> will create JSON objects which will be rendered onto the page for initial values of the Flex components. The reason for this is because <s:mxmlApplication /> has various modes :
      (a) debugMode => meaning preMxml, Mxml, and SWF files would be created in each run as well as JSON
      (b) simplySWF => meaning Mxml which has been modified by the user exists, so create only SWF files and
      JSON objects [users can use this to modify the mxml file and create a swf file]
      (c) productionEnv => meaning SWF file already exists, so nothing to do here but create JSON objects [this
      is the default value to ensure that users do not run the components in either of the two other modes in an
      environment that is higher than dev]. One thing to note is that all directories of WebContent/swf/* should
      be copied to their corresponding directory within the Workspace during the move to higher env [since the
      system uses servContext.getRealPath(new String()) as the root directory of preMxml, Mxml, and swf
      directory and TomCat for example flushes it out to their cache directory under metadata]. For large
      components such as DataGrid, am planning to write it as a service in retrieving and setting the values

      (7) Uses dojo during the onLoad time to connect all the Form's onsubmit event with a pageUnload function. Also each Flex/Flash app will communicate back to the page when it has finished setting up on its side [such as setting callBack methods and etcetera], JSON will be passed to the apps to set the initial values. So the values will be decoded [for example htmlText allows XML tags and etcetera, so on the Java side there will be encoding and decoding on the Flex/Flash side] and set to the component's values.

      (8) During the form's onsubmit action, pageUnload will return false and make a call to Flex/Flash app to return the component's values to the page. When returned, nodes will be appended to the form that was in the process of submission and will submit the page.
      On the Flex/Flash side, there will be an ActionScript which will use E4X [love it] to look up within an XML file the property/attributes that the component must return as JSON objects to the page, so that the page can create the elements with their attributes as child nodes of the form element.

      Will write this better later and will plan on making the code much cleaner and better during free time, but wanted to see if this is something that could be considered as a contribution within the group. Thanks!!!

      Oh yes, one note regarding preMxml files. In order to keep everything simple and debugging easy, a simple method was chosen to create the preMxml files for each component. Namely the file with mxmlPackageName_[Major Num][Minor Num].pre_mxml will be created per component within directory named WebContent/preMxml/[mxmlPackageName]/. So for instance, MxmlApplication will have Major Num and Minor Num set to 0 and the first child of MxmlApplication will have [1,0] set with it's sibling set to [1,1] and etcetera. Due to how it's written, there maybe an issue such that when depth equals a certain value and the components within that depth has 3 digits.

      For example,
      001121 this can mean
      (1) major level 1 with minor level 121

      {meaning there exists at least 121 components within the swf}

      (2) major level 2 with minor level 1

      {meaning this is a child of [1,1] and the second sibling with depth two}

      Since issues with this kind of scenario will occur when (1) doesn't exist [meaning sibling 120 exists and 121 is placeholder] and (2) exists [meaning [2,1] exists], this will be very rare. Also if someone has over 100+ components within a single swf file, I think it should be reconsidered and rewritten.

      I will possibly considering writing more regarding it later during my free time. Thanks!!!


        1. mxmlExamplescreenshot-1.jpg
          88 kB
          Ji Kim
        2. mxmlComp.patch
          143 kB
          Ji Kim
        3. mxmlComp.zip
          514 kB
          Ji Kim
        4. patchZip.txt
          0.8 kB
          Ji Kim



            • Assignee:
              gforce Ji Kim
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