Grauw’s blog

Today, the company I work for (Backbase) released version 2.2sp1 of the Backbase RIA software. Sp1, to fix some issues in the 2.2 release from about a month ago. What Backbase does, it is a JavaScript engine which extends XHTML with so-called BXML tags, basically turning it into a declarative web applications language. It is based on standards and has amongst others XPath support. The site has a demo, although it is a very old one.

During the small celebration we had (I’m drinking more champaign at work than I have ever had elsewere ;p), some colleagues showed a demo to us all they had been working on for a little while... It was basically a Windows desktop, including well-known Irish meadow background, Start menu, faked Firefox browser window, and some other example windows, all drag ‘n droppable and stuff. The fun part was that the browser actually contained an iframe, in which you could load another site. Much to our amusement, when we loaded up the same page inside the ‘BXML’-browser again, and inside that again... ^_^

Usually the pages made using Backbase are regular web pages with SPI extensions and validation, animation and stuff like that, but this was more like an OS than a webpage, impressive :). And only a 30k engine which powered all that. It’s really too bad the demo isn’t online yet, but it still needs some work :).

The language is like this:

<p>
  <button type="button">Show/Hide
    <s:event b:on="command">
      <s:task b:action="show-hide" b:target="../following-sibling::p" />
    </s:event>
  </button>
</p>
<p>This paragraph is show and hidden...</p>

And this can be abbreviated some with shorthand syntaxes like placing the b:action directly on the button, and the code can also be separated from the content using things called behaviours, like either this:

<p>
  <button type="button" b:action="show-hide" b:target="../following-sibling::p">Show/Hide</button>
</p>
<p>This paragraph is show and hidden...</p>

Or this:

<s:behavior b:name="demo">
  <s:event b:on="command">
    <s:task b:action="show-hide" b:target="../following-sibling::p" />
  </s:event>
</s:behavior>

<p><button type="button" b:behavior="demo">Show/Hide</button></p>
<p>This paragraph is show and hidden...</p>

Unfortunately, I can’t run it on this webserver to show an example right now, as the BPC (JavaScript Backbase client software) requires a BPS (server) for license validation and compression purposes, written as a Java Servlet for the Tomcat webserver, which my host doesn’t offer. But hopefully in the future we will start using a different licensing scheme, removing the need for the BPS, so that I can install it overhere as well ^_^.

Grauw

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