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  1. #1
    colpwd is offline Member
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    Default How to start and what to use?

    Hello all,

    I have some Perl scripts located on a linux server which gather statistics and places this information into an output file.

    Connected to this linux server is a windows workstation which is able ping the server directly and access its Tomcat instance though IE etc..

    I need to create a front-end interface that a user can interact with.
    Basically all the user will do is select an option, click a button and retrieve certain data from the Perl output files.

    The functionality is quite simple, but it would be nice to make the layout nice and neat, including expandable buttons etc.

    Originally i started by using Google Web Toolkit and deploying the web service using the .war feature, but this requires the front-end to be written in Java (converted to Javascript when compiled). I have hit a wall in trying to design the front-end efficiently and i am now questioning whether this is the best method.

    Are there any good examples out there of nice front-end user interfaces developed in Java?

    I wanted to get an idea on how people would approach this and what languages they would use etc..

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    pbrockway2 is offline Moderator
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    If what you want is a group of options, a text area to display output and a button to click then I would use html/javascript not Java. Put the options and the button in a form and post the option to the server when the button is clicked.

    (I have no idea what expandable buttons are though.)

  3. #3
    colpwd is offline Member
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    yeah sorry about that, what i meant by expandable buttons are for example,

    Cakes is a button and clicking on it will reveal buttons underneath like
    --------
    Colors
    --------
    Green
    Red
    Blue

    each being a button, but Cakes being expandable. so only Cakes appears at first, clicking on it reveals green, red, blue.

    In regards to using html/javascript, how would this communicate with the server and hence the output file sitting on that server?

  4. #4
    pbrockway2 is offline Moderator
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    As I said the communication would be via a POST request to some url on the server (*). JQuery (a javascript library) can be used to easily effect this asynchronously: ie you don't have to reload the page, the option(s) is posted to the server, the server replies and the data is displayed on the page's text area.

    JQuery also has methods to dynamically alter the contents and appearance of a webpage. So it has methods making the colour buttons fade in/out or slide in etc.

    I'm not saying you *shouldn't* use Java, just that Javascript strikes me as more straightforward. (And certainly more straightforward than GWT!)

    -----

    (*) You have mentioned a couple of times the fact that the data resides in files on the server. But in fact this is irrelevant to the client which, according to your OP, has access to the web server and I assume not a file server on that box. Basically however you do things the client (GWT Javascript, handwritten JS with library support for the cool stuff, Java applet, etc) you are going to have to talk to the server using a url designed to reply with the appropriate data.

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