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Put a form on that XML with Sapphire

Konstantin Komissarchik (Oracle )

Making at Eclipse · Standard
Wednesday, 14:00, 20 minutes | Ballroom D

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Many of the systems that developers and administrators interact with on the daily basis are configured via a menagerie of XML files. Even armed with a schema and a good XML editor, users have a hard time editing these files by hand. A good tooling strategy to address this difficulty is to create a multi-page editor where a user can flip back-n-forth between XML source view and a higher level form-based view.

Unfortunately, building such an editor using basic Eclipse platform facilities is a daunting challenge. It can take many months to create something half-decent for even smaller schemas. This talk will show how to build such an editor in hours instead of months using Sapphire.

Sapphire is a new project at Eclipse started with an initial contribution from Oracle. It is a UI building framework that allows developers to specify UI in terms of higher level constructs like property editors instead of widgets and layouts. This paradigm results in several orders of magnitude improvement in developer productivity while simultaneously delivering better quality UI that is easier to maintain.

Konstantin is an engineering team lead at Oracle working on a product with close ties to Eclipse and has been a committer on the Web Tools Platform since before its first release. He has designed and implemented the Faceted Project Framework which made it possible for people to easily extend capabilities of WTP projects. Lately, he has been focusing on Sapphire, a project that strives to make modeling more approachable for regular Java developers and make it easier to build full solutions, from data to model to a slick declared UI. In his prior life, he has worked on compilers, custom servers and network protocol design. He graduated from the University of Washington with BS in Computer Science.