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

Jun Han jun.han37 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 24 14:47:46 UTC 2011

Dear Thomas and Fabio,

Thanks a lot for your prompt replies and they helped a lot to understand 
the project.

When I took a first thought about how to achieve RESTification, one 
thing popped out of my head is to add an abstract communication layer to 
XEclipse without touching its logic and user interface implementation. 
Considering the fact that XEclipse itself will be under major code 
refactoring in the project of "XEclipse editors improvement" as well, 
adding an abstract layer will make the two projects work in parallel 
without too much conflict.

 From Fabio's email, this abstract communication layer is already 
available for XEclipse, but it is not RESTful yet. Therefore, I will 
take a deeper look at the source code of XEclipse with two questions in 
1. figure out a way to refactor without affecting the logic and UI layer 
of XEclipse
2. provide more support for logic layer, e.g., lazy initialization/retrieval

Best regards
Jun Han

On 03/24/2011 06:33 AM, Fabio Mancinelli wrote:
> 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
> 3.4")
> 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
> https://svn.xwiki.org/svnroot/xwiki/platform/core/trunk/xwiki-rest/
> and documentation
> http://platform.xwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Features/XWikiRESTfulAPI)
>> (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!
> Cheers,
> Fabio
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