Lifting weights: Pains and gains of RAP + GMF for web based modeling applications

Over the course of last year and until now we developed a web based UML modeler based on RAP and GMF.
In this talk we want to share our experiences if building a larger RAP application and the challanges of porting GMF to RAP, highliging some of the many adjustments needed for improved usability and performance.

The shown changes include custom GMF diagram rendering on the client and asynchronous communication to the server. This resulted in a new interaction pattern between the diagram editor on client and server component. The new client-server communication strategy reduced network traffic a lot and shrunk latency between user interation GUI response.

Additionally we will address a couple of changes needed in GMF, GEF and RAP to make all parts play nice together to get a fully fledged GMF for the web.

In the end we want to show the result of our work and demo the current state of the web based UML editor.

The modified parts of GMF and RAP will be provided as open source by Fraunhofer. Other parts, such as the improved client side modeling component will not be. This is mostly due to the fact that the client side code is based on commercial JavaScript libraries.
If the open source parts can be contributed back upstream to the original projects remains to be seen.

Mickael Istria (Red Hat Inc.)'s picture

While this issue and the solutions you've found seem very interesting, I'm wondering what will the audience be able to reuse shortly after the talk. Do you have a plan or strategy to contribute some parts of your work to GMF or RAP? If not, are there some reusable parts of your work which are availabel under open-source license?

If so, please clarify this in the abstract.

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Max Bureck (Fraunhofer FOKUS)'s picture

We will open source some of the work (abstract is updated accordingly). It remains to be seen if these parts can be contributed back to the original projects or stay a fork. We expect a difficult path for the RAP parts, since the Team is also working on Tabris and a more complete SWT implementation then has to be supported on all client side technologies in Tabris.

Public comment
Mickael Istria (Red Hat Inc.)'s picture

Thank you for this answer and for the proposal update.

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