Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Re: GWT history handling library - give it a try

On Tuesday, March 27, 2012 5:36:21 PM UTC+2, Kostya Kulagin wrote:
Simple open source etc library for automatical handling of GWT 
components state in URL (browser history). Contains sample application 
which demonstrates its usage. Give it a try :)

I tend to not "trust" projects that have an empty source repository and only provide downloads. I generally take it as a sign that the developer doesn't use a VCS, and so that the project is in bad shape; not really a sign of quality if you ask me. If there are other reasons, then please make them explicit.

Also, the MainIdea [1] wiki page starts with "Core GWT as far as I know does not support URL history handling", which is either plain wrong [2] or doesn't mean what I think it means (and without the ability to browse the source online, I really can't tell; and I won't take the time to download the source to evaluate the project).

As for the general approach (from what I can read from the wiki pages), I don't think it really "works". Do you really want to save the open/close state of each tree item in the browser's history? Navigating the app would quickly become a nightmare. URLs are for navigation, not about application state. This is why the HTML5 History API provides a specific argument in pushState() to store some state independently of the URL: there are things that you want to keep around as long as the app is "running" but that don't need to be carried along in the URL if you bookmark it or copy/paste it to a mail or IM.
As for combining the state of several components into the URL (as the YUI Library provides, for instance), that makes ugly URLs that don't carry any "real" meaning; not quite "Cool URIs" [3,4].
URLs are for navigation, and GWT provides a cool way of handling it for quite some time now: Places [5] (and if you ask me, you should use Activities too, but that doesn't fit everyone, so feel free to use GWTP, Mvp4g or whatever)

All of the above are just a "first impression" though, as I haven't looked at the code (and no, I'm not going to download it)

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