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< Wasting a lot of time with Laszlo   Don't lose data when your session times out >
The monolithic Laszlo application
Following up on my previous post about Laszlo, I wanted to mention something else that annoys me a lot during development.

In Laszlo you typically develop one monolithic application that is loaded once and communicates with a server in the background. This is very similar to a regular desktop application. However, for development this is a major annoyance since for each change you have to manually go through the whole application and find the functionality that you just changed. This can suck up a lot of time if you like working in an iterative fashion and like to test every small change before moving on.

This is inherent to the whole architectural design and other solutions do not have this.

For example:
  • Plain HTML applications
    Just reload the page and you're fine.

  • Ajax applications
    You typically split them up in bookmarkable pages and the time spent going to the changed location after a reload, is much shorter.

  • Swing applications
    This is probably the nicest of them all, you can hot-swap the classes and test out your change immediately.

  • Java applets
    If you run them in the applet viewer, you can use hot-swap as well.

I know you can pass query parameters to the Laszlo application and according to that perform certain logic. However, if you want to rely on this to make development more comfortable, you'll have to actually change your application to detect the query parameters and manually develop a way jump to distinct locations. This is still of very limited use though, since you haven't preserved anything of your previous application state. So in most cases you'll just have to build up the state manually anyway.

I'll continue to report on my experience with Laszlo as I progress.

(General note, I'm talking about Laszlo in specific since that's what I'm trying out at the moment, many of the problems are probably going to be experienced with Flex also. However, I'm not evaluating Flex.)
posted by Geert Bevin in Laszlo on Mar 11, 2005 8:43 AM : 4 comments [permalink]
 

Comments

Re: The monolithic Laszlo application
Here's how we handle this at Laszlo: For each component/screen/module that you're developing, put them into a library. Then, create an app that embeds only that library and some test code. You can interate on that and proceed from there. When you're ready, try integrating it into the larger app.

This is an example of a gap in the existing documentation. While all of the features/functions/tags required to do this are documented, there is no end-to-end example that illustrates best practices architecture, development strategies, and integration strategies. That effort has recently gotten underway; stay tuned.

(On a side note, I'd welcome a phone conversation. Please contact me at temkin at laszlosystems dot com if you're interested).

David Temkin, CTO, Laszlo Systems

Re: The monolithic Laszlo application
Interesting approach David, I didn't think of this. I already created a base 'panel' class that I use throughout my application and each panel is effectively separated into its own library. It shouldn't be much work to write little apps that only use one panel each time. Thanks for the tip!
Re: The monolithic Laszlo application
Geert,

Can you post an update to your experience with Laszlo? We are considering it for a new app, but AJAX also has appeal at less cost than ramping up on painful amounts of XML.

Thanks for any insight,

Cory
Re: The monolithic Laszlo application
Hi Cory,

I blog regularly about Laszlo, you can find them all here:
http://rifers.org/blogs/gbevin/laszlo

Best regards,

Geert

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