Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Value editing and displaying annotations

It looks like we've got three lots of java5 annotatoins that do related things. Bjv2 has annotations for making command-line programs from beans. You annotate the bean with @App and the setters with @Option, and from this it works out what switches are legal for the app. Additionally, the main method is on the bean instance, making it easy to instantiate lots of them e.g. for a parameter sweep or as a web-service worker.

Keith is doing some stuff with annotations that binds UI components that associates UI components (JLabel, ...) with bean properties. Then, the system generates forms using this, and routes the event handlers correctly.

Jimi is generating html forms from beans using annotations that describe what html form elements to use. This has logic for converting between the form data type (usually string) and the bean data type.

All three of the systems appear to be doing similar things using similar tech. Once all three have been proven to work, I think it's time to see if we can rationalize some of this - re-use some interfaces, extract some design patterns best practices, or mabey even add an extra layer of indirection and get a single core system out.

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