Still here .. with GWT and VMware image generation

And once again too much time has passed without me paying attention to the blog. I spent time experimenting with all sorts of apps and technologies and should’ve really posted some of my experiences.

Concerning my experiments with GWT – I upgraded to version 1.2.22 today and did realize the promised decrease in startup time when loading the project in the hosted mode browser but imho it could still be a bit smoother. The commercial GWT Designer (eclipse plugin, a free edition is available) looks very promising. Especially the useful wizards, refactoring support, I18N support and of course the visual designer make GWT development even more productive.

Another project I spend some time on lately, is the automatic generation of VMware images. The idea is basically to automate the installation of predefined software packages so that up-to-date images can be built at any time. Eventually custom images could be requested and the software installation could take place without supervision. I currently use the install scripts of the project and an additional perl script to start the VM – as a prototype it works. I’ve also looked into other installer projects like WPKG, but I might end up creating my own database based package and profile management to enable user based profile definition via a web interface.

Btw, I need to get myself a new “java server” for the backyard: SUN’s Blackbox ;-)
(Audio Version)

StarRating GWT widget

I recently experimented with Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and created a widget in the process. It’s a simple rating control as seen on many websites where users can submit a rating by clicking on a number of stars.
StarRating Example Application
The control currently features:

  • a custom number of stars in one row (horizontal)
  • a mouse hover effect
  • provides an RPC service interface to store and retrieve rating data
  • client side usage without a service is possible
  • ui customization via CSS is possible

Some features that are missing:

Nevertheless I believe this is pretty usable and maybe I’ll submit the widget to the GWT Widget Library Project if it is welcome. Anyway, feel free to use it but I won’t promise any further support – we’ll see. Here is the sourcecode of the StarRating widget.