Google I/O 2011: GWT + UI Designer: Enterprise Web UIs Made Easy!

Uploaded by GoogleDevelopers on 11.05.2011

Eric Clayberg: Welcome to the second day of Google IO.
I hope everybody is enjoying their new toys
and future new toys.
That was quite an announcement at the keynote.
This is "GWT and UI Designer Enterprise Web UIs Made Easy".
I'm Eric Clayberg.
The hashtags for this session: #io2011 #DevTools,
and there's the link for feedback.
If you'd like to leave some of it,
we'd love to have feedback.
The agenda for this session:
I'm going to go through a quick introduction,
go through some of the basics of the UI Designer tool,
do a quick, basic demonstration of some of those features,
then go on to some of the more advanced features.
Do a second demo at the end of the session,
then we'll wrap up, open it up for Q&A,
and let you go about your business.
So who am I, and what is the UI Designer?
A little background. Again, I'm Eric Clayberg.
I'm a software engineering manager
with the Developer Tools Group at Google.
Formerly I was with Instantiations,
a Java Eclipse toolmaker acquired by Google in 2010.
How many of you were familiar with
Instantiations in the past?
Oh, great. Thanks.
I'm also a co-author with Dan Rubel of the book
Eclipse Plug-Ins. Anybody read my book?
Well, thank you for that.
You can reach me at
GWT Designer was a tool originally created
by Instantiations in 2006.
It was acquired by Google in 2010,
and September of last year, we made it free to everybody
who wanted to use it, which was pretty cool.
It was also fully integrated
with the Google plug-in for Eclipse,
or the GPE version 2.2, as the built-in UI designer.
It comes in two versions.
There's the embedded version in the GPE.
There's also still a full version that provides
access to various third party components like GXT,
SmartGWT, and a few other things that I'll mention.
And the whole thing is built on the new
WindowBuilder open-source project at
that Google contributed back in December
and is going to go out as part of Eclipse 3.7 in June.
So the basics of the UI design--before I go on--
How many people have actually played with the tool?
It's called GWT Designer in the past.
Now it's just the UI Designer and the GPE.
All right, great.
Well, hopefully I'll be able to teach you a few tricks
that you might not have run across yet.
For those of you who aren't familiar with it,
we'll talk about some of the basics.
So the user interface of the tool
is composed of the following major components.
There's the Source View, where you see all your Java source,
or if you were using UI Binder, you'd see the XML source.
Switch to Design tab.
You see the design surface,
which has a bunch of subcomponents to it.
In the upper left hand corner you have the Component Tree,
where you see a hierarchical view of all the components.
You have a Property Pane where you can edit the properties.
There's a Palette.
There are a large number of Wizards you can access
to create different UI components,
and then there are various Toolbar
and Context Menu options.
And I'll touch on each of these in a little bit more detail.
Source View--again, there are separate tabs
for the source and the design view.
You can switch back and forth between those very easily.
If you are someone who likes to see the design view
and the source view simultaneously,
you can also put it into a mode where you can see both of them
in a top/bottom or left/right configuration like this.
The design view-- basically,
each different type of layout or GWT panel type
has its own unique UI model
and basic and different visual feedback.
You can move and resize components visually.
If you hit the space bar,
you can put it into direct edit mode
to change text labels, check boxes,
buttons, things of that nature.
Depending on the layout manager, things like layout panels.
You can also right click to set attachments
using pop-up context menus.
Component tree, again, is a hierarchal view
of all the components.
It shows the variable name of the component,
the text of the component.
You can right click to cut, copy, and paste.
Use drag/drop to reorder and nest components.
And that component tree can be docked on any side
of the editor or even pulled off
as a stand-alone view if you prefer.
The Properties View shows
all of the standard common properties by default.
If you want, you can also reveal various advanced properties
by clicking the little icon in the corner.
Those are properties you typically don't need to access,
but you might, and if you need to,
you can get to them.
All of the most important properties
are highlighted in bold
so you can see them quickly.
There are commands to automatically convert a widget
from a local variable to a field.
By default, the tool will create components as local variables,
which is nice for things like labels or things
that you don't need to communicate with,
but for things like checkboxes or text fields
where you might want to programmatically
interact with them,
you can convert them with a single click into fields
in the application.
You can also directly access
and jump right to the source code
for a particular widget you're dealing with.
You can also switch over to the configured events
for any component very easily.
You can also, if you right click,
you can tell the system what you consider to be the preferred
or advance properties yourself,
so you could actually fine-tune the tool then.
The Palette has some commands for doing system
or marquee level select.
You can choose any components,
whether they're on the palette or not,
using the choose component command,
so that's nice if you've created your own custom components,
or if you have some third party components
that aren't on the palette yet, you can easily access them.
In the full version, there are special palettes
for GXT and SmartGWT,
and you can add your own palettes and categories
very easily.
Just like the Property Pane and Component Tree,
you can dock the Palette to any side of the editor
or pull it off to a separate stand-alone view.
And the palette is also fully customizable by the user,
so if you right click on it,
you can get this customization dialogue,
where you can rearrange the categories, add/remove widgets,
export the palette to a XML file
to share with other developer members.
If you actually store the palette in the project,
then that project will automatically adapt
to that palette.
So if you've got a project, you're working with a team
and you want to configure the palette for the entire team,
you can do that very easily.
Just store the palette file in the project.
Everybody on the team will then use that same palette.
The full version has a very large number of UI wizards
which you can access using the File,
New, Other, WindowBuilder, GWT Designer Link.
There's also a drop-down toolbar menu
on the main Eclipse toolbar that you can access
that shows those various categories.
And there are dozens of templates for creating
GWT Java, UI Binder, MVP, GXT, and SmartGWT components.
And finally, a large number of context menu commands,
toolbar options, things like cut, copy, paste,
alignment and distribution, deleting components,
ordering and selecting components,
renaming components--
if you want to rename multiple instance variables
at the same time, you can do that--
Add event handlers,
and access morphing of factory tools.
This is just a quick comparison of
the sort of the two main flavors of the UI Designer,
the embedded version versus the fuller version.
Again, both versions support
all the standard GWT widgets and panel types.
Both support both Java and UI Binder-based UIs.
The full version adds support for additional
third party widgets like GXT and SmartGWT.
There are also a much larger number of
built-in wizards accessible.
The full version also has a lot more customization options,
but the basic version has sort of
the primary ones that you need.
And the most important thing is both versions
are completely free, thanks to Google.
So now I'm going to jump into a quick demo
of some of the basic features.
So here I have a standard entry point--
very simple Java class.
It shows up as an empty box in this case.
The root panel by default is in a sort of absolute layout,
so if I were to drop various widgets,
notice you get various drop feedback.
There are margin alignments you can select.
If I drop it in the corner, that widget will go there.
Automatically goes into direct edit mode.
Give it a name, and notice it automatically selected
the variable name based on the text I entered.
If I add a second widget, notice you get automatic alignment,
drop zones if you want.
I can also drop and resize a widget at the same time.
And there are handy commands in the toolbar
for doing things like left-right-center alignment,
making the widgets all the same size,
distributing them horizontally,
vertically, centering them,
all kinds of things like that for absolute layouts.
Some of the, uh--
I mentioned that the palette and this structure view
composed of component and property view are--
you can move them around, so if I want to,
I can just drag the palette to the other side of the screen,
if you like that particular layout.
And again if I right click,
I can bring up the palette manager
and rearrange the categories,
remove categories that I'm not using,
remove widgets that I'm not using,
add widgets that I might have that I've created custom,
and then easily export that
and share that with other team members.
Other types of layouts, since I mentioned
they all have different feedbacks.
A standard flow panel.
I'll just drop one of these in here.
And if I drop some widgets on that,
you see that they just basically drop in
in a left-right manner.
And I can drop widgets in between other widgets
and they flow perfectly
according to that particular layout.
I'll show you a, uh,
I'll show you a grid and a flex table.
The grid is basically rows and columns,
so the first widget I drop in
goes into the only available cell.
And I can basically add new rows and columns
by dropping on any of the sides of the existing layout here.
So I automatically add a new column and add a new row,
and you can do things like tell it to--a widget
to fill a particular cell if you want to--oops.
Very simple.
Now the grid widget,
the grid panel, is quite simple.
Contrast that with the flex table,
which, as its name suggests, is a bit more flexible.
Once I drop a few widgets in here,
I can do a couple additional things.
Let me get a couple in here.
Tell this to fill.
But then I can do things
like have it span multiple rows and columns.
So by dragging this little green handle over,
I can have that widget expand to fill an entire row
or an entire column very easily.
Again, if I want to direct edit,
I can just hit the space bar
and put the widget into direct edit to change its labels.
Over here on the property view,
you can see all the various properties
for the component in context.
Some of these properties are expandable
to show you various sub-properties,
such as various alignment options,
things like that.
You also set things like CSS dials and so on.
I'll show that actually in the more advanced demo.
All right, I'm going to switch back to the slides here.
So let's talk about some of the more advanced
features of the tool,
where it starts to get really interesting.
So the tool has quite a few pretty interesting features.
Many of them are actually quite unique
for a Java-based UI designer.
First, obviously, almost any GUI builder
needs to have a WYSIWYG layout.
But one of the nice things we have
is a truly bi-directional code generation.
So as we start editing in the design view,
if I show you the source view,
as I add widgets,
you'll see those automatically added to the source view,
and that second widget, and a third widget.
And then if I go into the source view,
and make a change in the source view,
that change is immediately reflected in the design view.
So you could actually work comfortably in either place,
and the two will automatically parse
back and forth in either direction.
One of the nice features of this is something
we call micro-editing.
So if you were to go into the design view,
change the label on a component,
it makes the smallest possible change to the source code
that it can.
So in this case it will update just that one string.
Now the nice thing about that is,
if you've actually formatted your code,
or re-factored your code, or moved things around,
it doesn't rewrite the entire class.
It literally, it actually has an AST model of
the entire UI class.
It knows exactly where that string is.
It changes just that string for you.
I think it's one of the only UI tools in the world
that actually works that way.
I mentioned the parser.
It has a very powerful and flexible code parser.
Not only can it parse its own code,
it can generally parse most handwritten code quite well,
typically in the 80-90% range.
We're quite successful with that.
There are no protected code blocks,
so there's nothing that says, "Your code must go here."
You can basically put your own modifications anywhere you like.
Since it creates a structure of the entire UI class,
it knows exactly where the UI code is.
It can differentiate that from model code
or any other code that you might have written by hand.
It has a very nice understanding of data flow.
So if you were to re-factor an existing layout,
maybe rather than having all these widgets defined
in one method,
you could actually use extract method,
pull a few of them out into a second method,
and it'll be perfectly happy.
It'll continue to update the widgets,
whatever method they're in, and so on.
It ignores and preserves non-UI codes.
So again, if you've added your own code,
in line or anywhere in the class,
it'll ignore it, preserve it.
The formatting remains unchanged.
Again, since it's making micro-edits.
There's never a point where it regenerates the entire class
and messes up the formatting
or does anything like that.
Again, very re-factoring friendly,
resilient to hand-made changes.
And one key aspect is that there
is a true one-to-one relationship
between what you see in the UI design
and what's in the Java or XML code for UI Binder.
There's no secondary metadata file
that are often used in other UI tools
that can get out of sync.
So, the tool basically parses the Java code,
and everything about the design is derived from that.
There's nothing else that you need to worry about.
The tool can read or write almost any style,
so if you have a particular style of Java coding
that you like, you can actually adapt the output
to almost anything you like.
So for example, when generating new widgets,
you can have them generated
as local variables or as fields.
If you want them all as fields, you can do that.
You can have them all generated as local variables
and then selectively decide which ones you want
to make fields later on.
It also supports sort of a flat layout versus
sort of a nested block layout.
So if you have a hierarchal components,
you could actually see those in nested blocks,
which some people like.
Also, you can do pre-initialized fields.
Rather than having the widgets initialized in line,
they're actually initialized where they were created.
And finally, for anybody coming from the far distant
VA Java world,
you might remember the lazy declaration style
from VA Java,
where you have each widget defining its own method.
We support that kind of generation as well.
Tool supports very nice internationalization.
So initially if you're just dropping widgets
on the canvas,
you're going to have a bunch of hard-coded strings
for each of those widgets-- not something you want to have
if you have an internationalized app obviously.
You want to pull those strings out into resource bundles.
So we start by clicking on the little world icon up here
in the toolbar,
and that opens up the externalized strings dialog,
and identifies all of the strings
in that parallel application here.
There are basically two widgets with strings.
And we need a place to actually extract that to,
so we need to actually create a string source.
In this case we want to generate an app constance class
that's going to hold those definitions
for those extracted strings.
So let's give an example of the code
it's going to generate.
So, I'll go ahead and do that.
Select all of the widgets and tell it to externalize them,
and then what it does is automatically
creates keys and values for you.
Now at this point, we just have a single default locale.
If we want to deal with multiple locales,
different languages, we just click on the new locale button.
That brings up a list of known locales,
or you can create your own combination of
language and country code.
I'll pick French here, and it generates a new locale.
I've already provided the translations,
or at least what Google told me the translations were.
I apologize to anybody who actually speaks French.
And then the tool goes and generates
the appropriate resource property files.
So we have a default locale with English translations,
and our French locale with the French translations.
And now you notice that up in the toolbar,
that the drop-down list now actually shows us the locales
that we have in play here.
So if I select the first locale,
you see that the strings all update to show the French text.
If I switch back to the default locale,
it switches back to the default text.
The nice thing is, I could actually continue to work.
If I were to make changes to these widgets
and change their text, rather than updating the text
in the actual source of the class,
it'll actually update the appropriate property file.
So if I'm in the default locale,
it'll update the default properties file.
If I'm in the French mode,
it'll update the French property file.
And I can also go down here, change the property files,
and then see the results reflected back
in the UI if I want.
Tool also has very nice support for visual inheritance,
both through hierarchies--
so visual hierarchies,
like a base class with a couple of ace widgets,
and various derived subclasses,
or containment hierarchies.
So if you want to create a custom composite,
expose some components, and then show that.
I'll actually do a demonstration of this
a little bit later.
So visual inheritance,
let's start with a real simple example here
with a couple of widgets.
One of the things I can do is I can expose various properties.
So if I wanted to actually make this reusable,
you know, and invent a subclass,
or maybe if it was a composite,
I'd want to expose things like the text on this label
so I could actually change it somewhere else.
So I could right click.
If I right click on that text property,
and select the expose property command,
it offers to create a new property,
new public property with accessors,
and it goes ahead and generates the appropriate--
I don't know if you can see that at this resolution--
but it generated basically an accessor pair
for that particular label property,
or the text property of that particular label.
And then I can also, if I want to,
expose an entire widget--
for example, maybe this button here,
if I want to change its label--
maybe I want to be able to add an event handler to it.
I want to be able to basically access it
publicly from somewhere else,
so I can right click on the widget,
select expose widget.
It offers to create an accessor,
and then generates an accessor for it.
Now once you've done that, now I've got a subclass.
Now the subclass automatically shows
the widgets inherited from the parent,
although I can't actually click on any of them
except for the button.
And now I can basically add additional widgets
to the subclass,
and also change the public properties
of the inherited components.
So for example, I added this last name field.
Well, maybe I want to change that label up here
to first name,
so I can just change that label text,
and it basically reflects that properly.
So this label text property was basically
the one we created in the earlier step,
and it was automatically picked up by reflection.
And you can see the source code was generated using
that new property.
Likewise, I can change properties of
the inherited fields.
If I want to, I could direct edit the button,
change its label,
and it goes ahead and uses the accessor
for the button and then changes the appropriate property.
But I could add an event handler or pretty much do anything
to the widget that I wanted to at this point.
Now, UI Factories.
Another useful way to be able to reuse components--
you can create your own.
Obviously you can create custom widgets,
create composites of widgets.
But if you just have cases where you want to have, you know,
a variety of say, customized buttons,
maybe a search button,
or almost any kind of widget where you're going to be using
the same widget definition,
the same properties over and over again,
you can basically right click on the widget,
select the factory, Create Factory command,
and that pops up a wizard where you can tell it
the factory class you want to create,
the name of the method you want to create,
and it shows the various properties of the widget.
In this case for our little search button,
we want to create a new static method on this factory class
that creates the button and returns it.
But you can imagine, this could be arbitrarily complex
with other properties,
and then this actual factory element
can actually be added to the palette
as a first class element.
So if I wanted to add a whole bunch of search buttons
to a layout, or use them over and over again,
I could do that very easily.
And here's another example where they take this label here.
Maybe I'd made it right justified
and done a whole bunch of other things to it.
I can extract various properties,
maybe have it pass in the string
while hard-coding other properties.
So you could make these fully parameterized,
and then hard code various properties inside the factory.
Tool also has a morphing capability,
which basically lets you change any widget type
into another widget type.
So for example, if I had started out with a button,
I could right click morph.
It shows a bunch of similar types,
as well as I could access subclasses
or any arbitrary widget I want,
and it actually will, in the UI,
change that widget from one type to another,
maps over all the properties
and updates all the source code for you.
So for example, I can change button types,
or a real common case here would be if you started out
with a list box
and you discovered later on in your UI
that you didn't have enough room for a full list box
and you wanted to convert it into a drop down list,
you could basically do that
and it preserves all the widget properties
that you set up at that point-- event handlers,
anything like that that makes sense.
And again of course,
it wouldn't be useful if it didn't provide full support
for all the various built in widget types
and all the various panel types in GWT.
And it does that, so, there's like absolute panel,
flow panel, doc panel, grid, flex table, layout panel,
and pretty much everything in between.
And the last slide
before I go into the more advanced demo
also supports graphical menu editing.
So if you want to put menus in your application,
you can start by dropping in a menu bar,
and then you can drop a cascade submenu in there,
start adding items to it.
I could add cascading submenus out to other levels,
add submenus to that.
Add separators.
I can use drag/drop to rearrange those menu items.
And again, I can also use direct edit to edit
any of those menu items.
So, very easy to create menu bars and menus.
So the next few minutes
I'm going to switch back into
the live demo here
and show some of the more advance features.
So just to start off with some of the bi-directional editing
I showed you earlier.
If I drop a button on the screen, give it some text,
switch back over to the source,
change the label,
instantaneously reflect it back in the design view.
So again, you can work in either direction.
If I were to put this into the mode
where you actually saw the source and design view
simultaneously, you could actually be typing
in the source view
and then you can set it to how fast,
how often it synchronizes,
and then watch it update the design view.
So a very nice way to--even if you prefer to work in source,
it's a really nice way to see a live preview
of what the UI's going to look like
without having to go through
actually launching the application,
going through dev mode, all of that.
It's basically sort of instantaneous feedback for you.
Let's--Let me add a couple more widgets here.
Go into the source.
And you see that it is basically generating
a nicely formatted source.
Let's take this button here.
I mentioned, I can do re-factoring,
so I'll right click and say re-factor, extract method.
Call it "create my button".
And now it's extracted that component into its own method,
and the design view is still working just fine.
In fact, if I were to change the label on this button,
it's reflected properly in the design view.
If I move it around, change it here,
it updates at the appropriate place.
So again, it basically has an ST model of the entire class.
It knows where every widget is defined,
where every property is defined,
so it really doesn't matter
how you re-factor the generating codes.
That's a very unique feature of this tool,
and it actually makes it really easy
if you're doing things like visual inheritance.
If you break out certain widgets into methods,
you can then just override just certain methods,
to add or change various widgets,
and do some very, very powerful visual inheritance.
Let me show you what you can do with custom composites.
This is really fun
when you want to start doing, um, custom--
you know, creating your own custom widgets.
So let's start with an empty composite.
I've got a basically empty horizontal panel here.
I'm going to drop in a label.
I'm going to drop in a text box.
And I'm going to drop in a button.
I don't like the variable name of this,
so I can change the variable name if I want to,
likewise with the button.
You just basically derive it based on the text.
One thing I noticed is, I don't really like this layout.
So this is a horizontal panel,
if I look at the generated source code.
Let's morph that into a flow panel.
So right click Morph,
and changes it into a flow panel.
Updates the source formatting.
Now I've got these three widgets.
Let's save that, go back over to our empty entry point here,
drop that custom component on the screen.
Come on.
So there are our widgets.
Now let's go back to the custom component here.
And if I were to say,
add another button or anything like that,
I switch back over to the entry point.
It automatically detects that class change,
so it basically has to reload the class loader,
pull in that new widget definition, and show it to me.
Now this new component isn't very useful
if I don't actually expose any of these properties,
so if I come back over to the label, right click on it,
select expose property.
Again you can see the accessors it wants to generate,
and it went ahead and generated those accessors for me.
Save it, come back to my entry point,
reload that class.
And now you notice
that this composite now has a new property,
automatically picked up by reflection,
and it actually uses that new property appropriately.
Likewise, if I go over and take one of these buttons,
I can right click on it, expose widget.
Come back over to my design view here.
And now you'll notice that that widget
actually shows up as a child,
since it's actually now a publicly visible component,
and I can do anything I want to it.
I can change its label.
I could right click on it and add event handlers,
and so on.
Let me show you what we can do with built-in CSS support.
So let's drop a couple more.
So the CSS style names,
any CSS styles that are defined in the CSS
for this project will show up,
and I can just select them if I want to and apply them.
Or if I want, I can go ahead and create a new CSS style
for that button.
Edit it.
There's a built-in CSS editor,
so I can do things like pick the size of the widgets,
the style of the widget, maybe the color.
I'll make it a big blue button here.
I can set the background, set margins if I want to,
put borders, pretty much any of the CSS styles.
And now let's actually set this widget to use that style,
and then any time I go and actually change CSS styles--
so if I actually go back into my project,
find the CSS-- oh, wrong project.
Hold on.
If I actually come in and change the CSS by hand,
maybe I'll change this to red.
See, it automatically gets picked up by the design surface.
Now maybe if I wanted to create a factory.
Maybe I like this style of button
and I want to use it over and over again.
If I look at the widget definition for the button,
let's say I want to make it a search button,
so let's change the text to search.
Let's change the style--
well, let's make it a send button, actually,
because I've got a style for that already.
And then right click on it,
select Factory, Create Factory.
Create a new factory called My Factory.
And I don't want to hard code the size,
so let's go ahead and take that out.
Tell it create send button method,
and actually in the process,
it's actually going to rewrite that code
to now call my factory creation method,
and I went ahead and created a factory class,
with that new static method in there.
I go back to my entry point now.
I could actually at this point add this right to my palette.
So add--let's find my factory class,
my factory,
find that one method.
And it's added that to the palette.
I could drag/drop this element and put it anywhere I want.
Let's put it back up with the rest of the buttons.
And now if I click this palette command,
it'll basically create a new send button for me,
using that factory command.
So if you think about that,
by creating factories of common UI components,
you could basically have a whole palette
of really highly customized reusable components,
and make them available to everybody
on your team quite easily.
Let me show some internationalization,
notice that it picked up the CSS style change there, too.
If we click on the internationalization tool,
tell it to extract those--
Well, first, let's look at the source code here,
because we have a bunch of hard-coded strings.
Don't want to get rid of one of these buttons,
just make it a little simpler.
So we have hard-coded strings right now.
Let's internationalize this class.
We'll create an app constance class,
tell it to externalize all the components.
It's generated the keys and values for me,
and updated the source code appropriately.
So no longer do we have any hard-coded strings,
and it's also at this point created
that app constance properties file,
which, we'll open that up,
pull it down here so you can see it.
And now if I go back into the design view,
and if I change anything,
notice it updates the property file for me
rather than--and leaves the source code,
which has already been internationalized,
completely untouched.
And again if I had a second language,
it would work that way as well.
Now I'm going to do a slightly more complex example,
so I'm going to close some of these classes
that I don't need anymore.
And I'm going to do a real simple example
showing how to attach a custom composite to a cell table.
So first I have a little domain class here,
very simple person class, first name, last name,
male, true or false, and age.
And I've already built a person composite,
which basically has fields
for editing each of those properties.
It's basically just a very simple little flex table,
and you can see the source for this class.
And what it does is it has fields
for each of the components.
Any time any of those text fields changes,
it automatically updates the embedded person object
that was passed in, and it has accessors
for setting the person for this composite,
getting the person, resetting it to a new person,
things like that.
So it's a very, very simple custom composite design
to edit this very simple person class.
So let's take this--
let's start out with an empty entry point class.
The first thing I'm going to do
is I'm going to drop this person composite on the screen.
I'd like it to fill the entire width,
so I'm going to start dragging it out.
Hold the control key down,
and let go-- pulls it to 100%.
Then I'm going to add a button,
call it "Add".
And finally, let's come down and add a cell table.
And a cell table is basically parameterized
by type of object,
so I'm going to tell it to make this cell table
work with my person object.
Okay, an empty cell table--
not very useful unless we add some--
well first of all, let's make it
fill the entire available width as well.
And then start adding some columns to it.
So I'll add a text column, call this "First Name",
Add another one.
"Last Name."
Number column for age,
and a checkbox column for whether the person
is male or not.
And so far, it's gone
and generated code for all of these columns,
but this is where we have to start
actually adding some intelligence to this.
So it's basically just generated some default text
for the column, so I'm going to go in
and tell it to do something more interesting.
So for the first name column, I want to get basically the--
Get, uh--
There should be an accessor for that.
There we go.
Okay, last name, and object Get Age.
And for the button,
I want it to basically add the person object here,
so I'm going to right click on it,
tell it to, um,
add a click handler,
and I've actually got some methods--
or I had some methods here.
Hold on.
I've just got to pull out my--whoops.
All right.
Pull out some code I'd written before to do some of this work.
I also want to take this person composite
and make it into a field--
do the same thing with the table.
And on that click handler,
I want to do my comma do add method.
And I've also got a method that sets up
the data priority for me,
so I'm just going to call that as well.
And hopefully--
Save that, and let's try launching it.
And if I start adding some names--
It works, the first time.
Thank you. Phew! [applause]
I was sweating bullets there for a second.
So a real simple example of hooking up a custom composite
to a cell table,
and that is pretty much the end of the demo
that I wanted to show.
So let's go back to the slides, and then we can wrap it up.
So what did we talk about?
First of all, Google Web Toolkit,
a great way to build web apps, as hopefully many of you know.
Google plug-in for Eclipse, a great way to build GWT apps.
And the UI Designer, a great way to build GWT web UIs.
So at this point, happy to, if anybody wants to ask questions,
just use the microphone there at the back of the room.
And I'll put up a thank you
with basically links you can go to,
to get the documentation,
the wiki, the GWT blog, et cetera.
So if anybody has any questions, feel free to ask.
man: What do you see as the future direction
for the UI Binder?
Clayberg: For the UI Binder?
In terms of the UI Designer, or?
man: Yes, like are you looking at
higher speed, more features?
What's--? Clayberg: Oh, yeah.
Well, first of all, the goal of the UI Binder
is to stay completely current with GWT itself.
So as new features get added to GWT,
as more capability gets added to UI Binder,
they'll be immediately surfaced in the UI Design Tool
at the same time. So we try to keep them--
Back when we were at Instantiations,
we were usually lagging five or six weeks behind.
Now our goal is to actually be current with any new--
since we're part of the team--
be current with any new releases.
man: As a Python guy and not a Java guy,
I'm very interested in GWT,
but I've been trying to figure out,
how do I put that on the front end of a Python
back end like Jango?
Can you give me any guidance?
Clayberg: Unfortunately, I'm not a Python guy,
and I really can't help you with that.
But if you can give me your card, I'd be happy to
find out some information for you.
man: Okay, well I've actually got two questions.
One, I didn't see you demo any of the Designer
with the UI Binder itself.
Does it support that?
Clayberg: Oh, yeah, yeah.
I mean, in fact I could just--
man: And the second question is actually,
how well does the Designer work
with a pattern such as MVP?
Clayberg: With a what?
man: MVP--Model View Presenter,
where all your logic is elsewhere and your UI Design
is in a single place.
Clayberg: Actually, with more recent releases,
we've added support for MVP, and the fact is,
even in MVP Wizard,
that'll create an entire structure for you.
man: Oh, nice.
Clayberg: But as far as UI Binder,
I can, say, create a new UI Binder composite here,
let me just do that real quick.
And so there's your standard XML for the UI.
And notice it shows XML source rather than just plain source.
Switch over to the design view here in a second.
The very first time I have to access this,
it takes a few seconds.
And I can just go about doing what I was doing before,
start adding widgets, switch back over to the XML source.
See, it's basically added XML source rather than Java source,
so it works quite well with UI Binder as well.
man one: Oh, thank you.
man two: Earlier in the presentation
you had a split view
between the GWT Designer and the code view.
How do you access that?
I'm still trying to figure it out.
Clayberg: Well, one thing I didn't show is
basically the extensive properties or preferences
the tool has.
So if you go into Google Web Toolkit designer,
you can basically--
one of the first properties is the editor layout.
So you can say, do you want the notebook,
which order do you want the notebook tabs?
Do you want them above each other, split pane, side by side?
There's a bunch of edit things for like,
setting coding style,
changing how event handlers are generated.
And by the way, if you have the full version,
which actually shows up in your WindowBuilder option,
you get actually a whole bunch of additional preferences
for really fine-tuning stuff,
like setting things like the auto-rename pattern
for variable names.
When you type in text for a widget,
how does it automatically decide
what the variable name should be for that?
So you can have control over the patterns involved there,
so there are a bunch of additional preferences there.
man two: Great. Thanks.
man: How does the bi-directional updates deal with components
that are dynamically generated at one time.
So say like I have a grid of components
where the cells of the grid are commanded at one time?
Clayberg: So the question is,
how does it work with dynamically created components
as opposed to statically created components?
The basic answer is, it doesn't, really.
Really, the tool deals with static UIs.
So anything that's sort of dynamically created,
it really doesn't know about it, so it can't really render it.
So if you had a flex table or a grid
that you were adding components to dynamically,
you would see the empty flex table in the design,
but you wouldn't see any of the widgets
you're going to add at run time.
That's unfortunately one of the limitations.
man: All right.
Basically it deals with gracefully.
Thanks. Clayberg: Okay.
man: I'm going to ask if you could put up the last slide.
Clayberg: Sure. That's a good idea.
man: If you could get to my question.
Clayberg: All right. There you go.
man: I was wondering how well it plays with
other development patterns,
like using GIN, if there's any issues.
Clayberg: I honestly don't know.
man: All right. Thank you.
Clayberg: But if you want to give me your card,
I can find out about that.
man: What about dealing with existing components,
existing designs you have?
Clayberg: Well, as I mentioned earlier,
the tool actually works remarkably well
with hand-written code or code that you already have existing.
So I would say just give it a try.
And I mean, one of our goals is to keep improving that,
so if you come across cases
where it does not do a good job rendering your handwritten code,
either whether it's Java code or UI Binder code,
I would encourage you to actually send us an example,
or maybe strip it down to just the minimum
that you're willing to part with,
take out anything that's proprietary,
but send us examples that don't work.
And we are very interested in working with those examples
and making them work with the tool,
and improving it over time.
man: Thank you.
Clayberg: Yeah.
man: Do you have any facilities for test generation?
Clayberg: Actually in the full version of the tool,
there actually is a Janit test generation wizard
that just creates a GWT Janit stub for you, but it doesn't--
we don't have any UI automated record/playback testing,
anything like that for this tool, no.
man: Any plans for that?
Clayberg: It's something that's been talked about,
but at this point, we don't have any plans to do that.
man: Thanks.
man two: When it comes to databases, do you have it
so that it'll automatically link when you create--
you know, how you create the first and last name,
like you want it to link to a database,
like you can create the database
and then automatically pull it in like you did before?
Is there an option in there for that?
Clayberg: Well, we don't have anything like that.
We do have, actually, for GXT, if you're using GXT,
we actually have support for the GXT data-binding model,
which basically is, if you have a database,
if you have a pojo, plain old java object,
any kind of data source,
you can hook those data sources to UI elements.
Whenever GWT gets
to the point of having its own data-binding API,
we would obviously build a support for that as well.
But at this point, in the basic UI designer tool,
there isn't really support for that with basic GWT.
man: Right. Thank you.
Clayberg: But it's definitely something
we would be very interested in.
man: Could you show how you add a widget to the palette?
Clayberg: Sure.
man: I saw how you were doing it with the composite.
I'm more interested in a class that extends from another--
Clayberg: Right. Basically, it's quite simple.
So if we pull up any one of these classes here,
you basically just right click on the palette,
say if you're going to add a category,
I can add a component to an existing category.
And you basically just choose the class.
So if it's a sub-class of button, my button,
you just find it and it'll automatically--
then you can give it a description
and it'll just show up
if you hover over the component in the palette,
and you can pick which category you want it to go into.
And that's it.
Hit okay, and there it is on your palette.
man: Thank you.
Clayberg: All right, any other questions?
Well, I guess I can give you all back
a minute and thirty seconds.
Thank you for attending. [applause]