[xwiki-devs] [GSoC 2011] Self Introduction and Interested Project

Fabio Mancinelli fabio.mancinelli at xwiki.com
Thu Mar 24 10:33:11 UTC 2011

Hi Jun

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 6:35 PM, Jun Han <jun.han37 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, Everyone,
> I am going to apply for student developer in GSoC 2011 and am interested
> in one of proposed XWiki projects, XEclipse "RESTification".
Glad to hear that you are interested in this project.
Thomas has already replied to your questions but I will add some bits
as one of the mentors of the project.

> Currently I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in the department of Computer
> Science, University of Georgia, USA. My research focuses on
> Simulation/Modelling and Web services, and applies them to facilitate
> bioinformatics research.
> My strengths are the following:
> (1). 6-year of Java programming experience including both desktop and
> web development and able to perform full lifecyle software development.
> (2). developed a SOAP Web service management system using Eclipse RCP
> and SWT
Very good.

> (3). developed REST-ful Web services and integrated SOAP Web services
> from other collaborators (in German and Japan) to implement integrated
> scientific workflow following Web 2.0 standards
Very good.

> After reading through the descriptions of proposed projects, XEclipse
> "RESTification" is of great interest to me. This project involves
> communication via SOAP and REST-ful Web services and is developed in
> Eclipse SWT platform, therefore, I might be a potential match for this
> project based on the skill set.
> I have several questions regarding the requirement:
> (1) what is target development platform?
>     The current XEclipse requires Eclipse Ganymede 3.4 and the most
> recent release is Eclipse 3.6 and 3.7. Is there any plan to support them?
The "requires Ganymede" is a leftover... When XEclipse was actively
developed the most stable Eclipse version was 3.3 (hence the "require
I didn't try but I think that XEclipse should run without any problem
on 3.7 right now.

Anyway the idea is to support the latest version of Eclipse, i.e. 3.7

> (2) What is the current status of XWiki communication layer?
>     From what I understand, SOAP + XML play a main role in the current
> system. Now XWiki is turning to REST eventually.
>     I read some discussions on Mar 11 2011 about REST API in dev mail
> list, which mentioned that REST API is not there yet. Does this mean
> that the whole REST communication layer is not available yet?
Not quite right.

XWiki supports XMLRPC and REST. AFAIK, We don't have any "SOAPy" web services.
I would say that XMLRPC is deprecated because it has several problems
and limitations.

So the RESTful API is definitely the preferred mechanism for
interacting with XWiki in a "machine oriented" way.

Thomas already told you where to find information about this API (code
and documentation

> (3) What extent of RESTification we are going to achieve for XEclipse?
>     This is closely related to question (2). If REST API is available,
> the XEclipse RESTification will only need to construct the REST-ful
> request (i.e., @GET /rest/{space}/{page}) and parse result from server.
> If not, more work might be involved.
Indeed whay you say is part of the job.
However XEclipse has an "abstraction layer" for the communication.
This abstraction layer provides interfaces for retrievening and
manipulating XWiki objects.

Now the main goals of the project is to provide an HTTP-based
implementation of this layer so that XEclipse will be able to
communicate to with XWiki using REST.
This is of course the tip of the iceberg :)

Actually while "RESTifying" this we should also refactor where
necessary and improve things.
For example, one thing that comes to my mind is to enable lazy
retrieval everywhere: we don't want to load in the interface thousands
of items using a single request!

I hope that this answers your questions and if you have more don't
hesitate to ask!


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