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Componentized and dynamically composed user interface

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000223323D
Publication Date: 2012-Nov-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

While frameworks, such as OSGi, are available for componentizing Java based software, web UIs (based on Javascript) have not been able to enjoy these same benefits. Some componentization frameworks, such as iWidget, are available but these do not allow the dynamic addition/removal of parts at runtime - all components must be available, or when added, they must be manually installed and pulled into the UI. In other words, frameworks such as iWidget are really about componentization "on the glass" rather than componentization at the backend. This article applies the principles of componentization and composability, found in a framework such as OSGi, to the area of web UIs, thereby enabling greater flexibility, dynamicity and performance in the UI.

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Componentized and dynamically composed user interface

While frameworks, such as OSGi, are available for componentizing Java based software, web UIs (based on Javascript) have not been able to enjoy these same benefits. Some componentization frameworks, such as iWidget, are available but these do not allow the dynamic addition/removal of parts at runtime - all components must be available, or when added, they must be manually installed and pulled into the UI. In other words, frameworks such as iWidget are really about componentization "on the glass" rather than componentization at the backend. This article applies the principles of componentization and composability, found in a framework such as OSGi, to the area of web UIs, thereby enabling greater flexibility, dynamicity and performance in the UI.

    This article uses OSGi as a componentization framework, however other similar frameworks could potentially be used.

    Each component of the UI is packaged as a web application bundle (WAB) which is an OSGi enabled version of a web application archive (WAR) file. Each WAB declares (in it's manifest) which UI capabilities/resources it contains. There is a single master WAB for the UI, which handles requests and works out where UI resources are. In order for the UI to determine which parts of the UI to show/enable, it can query the servlet in the Master bundle to determine which UI capabilities are available. The master bundle uses the metadata from the bundle manifests to...