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Designers: Flash & XMLC idea


Hi,

I was thinking some things about making XMLC help with Flash
presentations.  These ideas might be obvious, but I haven't seen them
discussed here yet.

I think XMLC can be useful for a Flash application by using XML
templates for responses to Flash applications.  An example dialogue
might go like this:

1. The Flash app on the client makes a request to an Enhydra app on the
server, by submitting an URL.  

2. The URL includes a parameter that identifies which template to use. 
There might be several templates to fulfill different data requests.  
For example:  http://appserver:9000/getData.po?template=shoppingCart

3. Enhydra instantiates the XML template, based on a class that had been
generated by XMLC. (Or a default "404" template, if no template exists
by the name specified by the request.)

4. The XML template has attributes that tell how to bind content to
either data or business objects within the application.
For example:   <LINE_ITEM BOUND_BO=xyz /> or <LINE_ITEM BOUND_DO=abc />
or 
<LINE_ITEM BOUND_SERVLET=className />

5. The request from the Flash app also specifies additional criteria in
its request parameters.  These parameters become an argument list for
the bound object.

6. A util method traverses the XML template and fills in values from the
desired bound object.  Assume it stores the data in a VALUE attribute of
the XML element.

7. A util method clones XML elements in the template as needed, if the
object returns a Vector.

8. Then the Enhydra app responds with the XML document, which is now
populated with the requested data.

9. The Flash app receives the XML and now has the desired data with
which to present the next step of its display.

The new technology needed for this is a data-binding util method to fill
in values in an XML template, and a naming convention for the classes
that provide data (perhaps every such object must have a getValue()
method).

Then the Enhydra presentation layer code would be very simple: 
instantiate the XML document, call the data-binding util method, and
output the completed document.

Perhaps a convenience method to locate and instantiate an XML document
from a template based on the request parameter (and respond properly to
bogus requests) would be helpful.

-- 
Bill Karwin (bill@lutris.com)
Application Architect - Lutris Technologies Inc.
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