12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2009 6:16 AM by Bernd Ruecker

    Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server

    Bernd Ruecker Master

      Hi!

      Maybe I just overseen is, but I search for docs, what the gwt-console is able to do (mycurrent installation doesn't do much, I am not sure if I have a installation/user rights problem or if it is just the current status), how I incorporate task forms in it and how I can access the BIRT report server.

      In the current user/developer docs I haven't found and the wiki seems not to be up to date.

      If there is no doc, no problem, I will figure that out myself. I just wanted to ask not that I oversee the easy way and save time by this :-)

      Cheers
      Bernd

        • 1. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
          Ronald van Kuijk Master

          You are right in noticing that the current installation does not do much. Well, no that is not really true. Tasks do work afaik, but you need a process that has them. There is one in the examples called taskform.

          I'm filing jira issues on the console. Not for missing functionality but for 'bugs'

          Regarding the functionality and the ui there should indeed be a discussion on what goes where. Especially what goes into the menu and what goes into tabs. That should be intuitive. Maybe (I would hope they do) JBoss has some ui design experts.

          • 2. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
            Ronald van Kuijk Master

            Hmm.... rereading my post I see a omission. Of course it does more (not much is a wrong statement) but you initially do not see it does more. You can start processes etc, see them, pause them etc... forgive my statement

            • 3. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
              Heiko Braun Master

              That's right, the docs are still missing. Some of the functionality is only available in particular situations, i.e:

              - depending on the process itself (i.e task forms)
              - the type & contents of process deployments (i.e. process image)
              - plugin functionality (forms)

              Before you go ahead a d discuss UI elements, it would make more sense to think about meaningful constraints, that can be applied to process deployments. Currently the console has to cope with a lot of unknowns, which derive from the "everything possible, but nothing mandatory" style of coding that jbpm4 reflects.

              Up to now I tried to include functionality in the console that is applicable to most of the use cases, but of course there is much more do add. However if it only applies to a small percentage of use cases and furthermore isn't even constrained to a certain degree we cannot simply add it.

              I'll give you an example:
              Process variable inspection is one of those cases. There is currently no constraint on variables whatsoever. The "hashmap" style of design allows for everything and nothing at the same time. Of course it would be useful have that feature in the console, but without any type descriptions associated with the process it will only work in particular situations and break in others.

              I can list plenty of other features that have been hold back, because the core codebase doesn't allow for reliable hook into runtime inspection.

              • 4. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                Tom Baeyens Master

                from a prioritization perspective, first focus should be to complete this list of functionalities

                http://www.jboss.org/community/wiki/GWTConsoleFeatureSet

                if for those functionalities something is lacking in the core engine, discuss it and we'll deal with it.

                another aspect that i want to see prioritized is that the example processes all should be fully executable using the console only.

                for showing the process variable values, you can do introspection on the actual values that you get. you could render strings, numbers and dates and just use toString for all the other types. process variable editing can be addressed later. that is not a priority i think.

                • 5. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                  Ronald van Kuijk Master

                  I agree with Tom about the showing of variables. Afaik, the jsf console does the same.

                  The suggestion about the constraints regarding processdeployments is a valid one as well. Would the 'assume nothing, expect everything' be a good approach? Like there *can* be a processimage or there can be forms but if one is not there, at least show a decent error?

                  • 7. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                    Bernd Ruecker Master

                    A short comment from me as well.

                    The wiki page looks already promising. For me, most important would be some easy things:
                    - see the current activity of a process instance (would be sufficient as a column in the table)
                    - See all process instances (not selecting a process definition)

                    By the way: How do I see Child Executions / the Execution Hierarchie? This would be important as well.

                    And and some feedback on the usability: To have the ProcessDefinition/ProcessInstance Tab was a bit confusing for me first. I didn't recognize they have a relationship to each other...

                    Heiko wrote:

                    Process variable inspection is one of those cases. There is currently no constraint on variables whatsoever. The "hashmap" style of design allows for everything and nothing at the same time. Of course it would be useful have that feature in the console, but without any type descriptions associated with the process it will only work in particular situations and break in others.


                    I agree with the others, a simple table with the toString representation would be already a big step ahead. With some improvement it may get a generic Tree (e.g. to show lists, maps and object properties easily). This is what we have in a couple of rich clients at some customers already.

                    If you then cann delete, change or add variables/entries (add by specifying the class name), it would be already very sophisticated :-) But this has not a very high priority (even if I had the demand already a couple of times).

                    But I am eager to the see the next evolution of it :-)

                    Heiko wrote:

                    Currently the console has to cope with a lot of unknowns, which derive from the "everything possible, but nothing mandatory" style of coding that jbpm4 reflects.


                    Yeah, I think thats the destiny of a generic process engine console ;-)

                    • 8. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                      Bernd Ruecker Master

                      Hey Heiko.

                      Do you have some description how to use task forms somewhere? Or an example in the code?

                      I wanted to create a showcase for a presentation but cannot find how I use it...

                      Thanks
                      Bernd

                      • 9. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                        Heiko Braun Master

                        @bernd

                        there is a forms example within the example package.
                        you'd basically need a freemarker template associated with a task activity.
                        it follows a naming convention: <task activity name>.ftl
                        you can then open the form from within the console.

                        the docs will be shipped with GA. Basically this week.

                        • 11. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                          Bernd Ruecker Master

                          Hi Heiko.

                          Thanks for the response. Found it. Sorry for disturbing you unnecessary (I thought I searched for it, seems I was too blinf ;-)).

                          Cheers
                          Bernd

                          • 12. Re: Status / Documentation of gwt-console & report-server
                            Bernd Ruecker Master

                            And the other forum entry is helpful as well...