Springy developers choose DWR

Colin Clark colin.clark at utoronto.ca
Mon Apr 2 22:54:37 UTC 2007

Hi Ray and Antranig,

We're planning to dig into DWR a bit more in the next little while,  
and I'm also interested to hear how your own research goes. I've  
heard very good reviews of it, although my one concern was the fact  
that it's rather closely bound to Java running on the server side.  
Integration with non-Java applications is not a deliverable in the  
initial 2 years of the project, but as much as possible I'd like to  
emphasize loose-coupling between the client side and the whatever  
language is running on the server.

Antranig, do you want to provide us with a bit of an overview of the  
Universal View Bus?


On 2-Apr-07, at 6:26 PM, Antranig Basman wrote:

> Hi there Ray - we meet again, at 50,000 feet :P
> DWR is fun, although I have to mention (to blow own trumpet, when  
> did anything else)
> that we have our homegrown distillation of the technique in the  
> form of RSF's
> "Universal View Bus" which I feel is much less intrusive since it  
> functions
> with no config files other than Spring ones (no dwr.xml), and  
> similarly no
> extra Java-side artefacts since it just uses the existing  
> application structure.
> Spring Web Flow seems like a winner on paper, but every developer  
> I've exposed
> it to in practice becomes highly annoyed. I feel their conception  
> of "flows" is
> too restrictive and "top-heavy" (OGNL-driven, and with a meaty  
> RequestContext
> object at the other side) to be truly idiomatically portable. I  
> made an
> experimental integration with RSF in the very early days but has  
> languished
> for lack of interest.
> Filesystem-previewable templates with behaviour are indeed a  
> reality already :P
> Ray Davis wrote:
>> DWR = Direct Web Remoting - https://dwr.dev.java.net/
>> This looks like magic, and it's being used in production in some
>> products (including JIRA and Confluence), but I hadn't heard of it
>> until I read this transcription of a talk Bram Smeets gave on "Ajax
>> with the Spring Framework":
>> http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=44657
>> Going over ideas similar to Josh's, he recommends JSON-RPC if you
>> want an RPC approach, but recommends DWR even more strongly for
>> server-client glue.
>> And then I bumped into this, from the lead of Spring Web Flow:
>> http://www.infoq.com/news/2006/12/wicket-vs-springmvc-and- 
>> jsf#view_4214
>> "In summary a development team evaluating Spring's web app
>> development stack should consider Spring MVC + Web Flow + DWR
>> together, and not simply the Spring MVC base in isolation."
>> (I look forward to seeing how much of Spring MVC we could eliminate
>> from that combination.)
>> The DWR 2 preview examples are getting to a spot in which we could
>> create fully interactive browser-only (no server) prototypes
>> populated with test data by JavaScript. And then after some initial
>> user testing's been done, we could replace the JavaScript-loaded test
>> data bit by bit with dynamic server-based data without touching the
>> "prototype's" XHTML or CSS.... Specifications which double as
>> production code. It's a nice dream.
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Colin Clark
Technical Lead, FLUID Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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