Saturday, April 21, 2007

Grails + Ext Exprience Log

I found out about Ext recently and was taken by the slick UI. Diving into the documentations and tutorials I find Ext suspiciously easy to implement. I have been using Grails a lot since beginning of this year but I am still looking something looks as cool as Echo2.

So on Monday night, I started with a small project to get a Grails app integrate with Ext. I worked with the Ext components one by one until I get a fully functional Meeting Minute tracker sort of application. And this is what I got to show for.

Some stats here:
  1. Use AJAX for tree, tabs, grid, and content refresh.
  2. Never mess with any SQL, CSS or HTML. Pure Grails and JavaScript.
  3. Btw, my level of JavaScript is up to using alert() for debugging.
  4. Ext support 3 really cool themes, no messing around with graphics or buttons.
  5. Stable and fast. I tested on old P3, works just fine.
  6. Very helpful forum.
  7. Open Source license or commercial licence -- up to you to choose.
  8. Good documentations and examples.
  9. The API is developer friendly and can be use with Java, Grails, Ruby on Rails, PHP or just about anything that can generate JSON or XML data.
  10. Started on Monday night, worked every night for at least 1 hour till Saturday to complete all the basic features.

What I found out is that:
  1. Grails is very cool.
  2. Ext together with Grails is going to be a blast.
  3. Like Grails, you can get something of quality up in short time with Ext.
A few weeks back I completed a small project using Prototype and Scriptaculous, and wondered how am I going to create any cool webapps without them. Well, I'm going to delete them off from my bookmark tonight. :D Extjs.com will do fine now.

To help others on using Grails together with Ext, I am going to start a small series of tutorials of integrating Grails with Ext. I hope many will find it useful.

By the way, Ext Version 1.0 has just been released. If you have been using Ext beta2, you can see the list of changes from beta 2 to version 1.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Siegfried Puchbauer from the grails user mailing list also has a demo of a Grails/Ext app using the Ext.Grid for the grails list action. Example is here: http://dev.puchbauer.com/extdemo/extBook

I too am very excited by Ext. I tried various Ajax widget libraries (Dojo, YUI) and so far Ext is just more polished, complete and stable. Also, its API, once absorbed, is quite simple.

I am very interested in making my grails actions do nothing more than update the model in response to Ajax requests and render JSON. That way my view, is truly decoupled.

I'm still coming up to speed on Grails. Its a bit too immature/unstable at this time to invest in heavily IMHO. But I'll look forward to seeing how your experiences go.

Anonymous said...

Cool, thanks I was looking for that link but couldn't find it back from the forum.

Cheers,
Sey

Marcel Overdijk said...

Nice!
Would you be able to post the sourcecode of the example application to share this?

Cheers,
Marcel

psibal said...

amazing work