Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sample Network Application

It is taking longer than I anticipated to create a sample application. The main hurdle has been mastering Google Web Toolkit enough to create the user interface. I am hacking from the sample mail application available in the GWT distribution; but the code is increasingly becoming very different.

First, here is a screen shot from the web UI. Apologies for the rough edges; I am not a UI developer, building user interfaces is a chore to me.

The basic UI is working - I have a stub server application waiting to be hooked up with the backend.

The UI is built using the MVP paradigm, except that I don't use an EventBus, as I am the sole developer, and the added complexity of a bus, and associated event mechanisms is not warranted. I have a RequestProcessor class that handles the presentation logic.

I have been thinking about how to create the primary key of some of the tables. I have settled for a special table that will hold sequences; each sequence has a name and a long value. As reverse indexes are not yet supported in SimpleDBM, I came up with the idea of a decreasing sequence so that as time goes by, by accessing the data in increasing sequence, I can ensure that newer data appears before older data. This goes to show that we can live with almost any limitation; a bit of thinking gives a solution to the problem!

As sequences do not need to be rolled back ever, the sequence generator can execute its own small transaction whenever the sequence needs decrementing. To make things efficient, we can allocate chunks of sequences at a time, but for now, I will simply decrement one at a time.

There is also nothing like really using a system to discover bugs. I found that the Long column type was missing functionality to set a Long value!

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