I have a requirement to create a set of tools as a Web application with forms built on-the-fly, and that is easier said than done. (Actually the "on-the- fly" bit is my own requirement: I don't want to spend the rest of the year writing chunks of HTML.)

After quite a bit of research, almost all of which ended in the trash, I've found inputEx, which calls itself a field framework for web applications. As per the documentation, it is

a javascript framework to build fields and forms. It doesn't use html (it is the opposite of unobtrusive librairies): All the fields and forms are configured using json. It provides a very efficient abstraction for building interactive web applications

A JavaScript framework, eh? Ok, so brush up my JavaScript knowledge, and dig in.

inputex really does what is says, and in almost no time, I had a workable prototype, thanks to some of the very good examples. inputex extends YUI, the Yahoo! User Interface Library, which is a huge (and tremendously complex for someone like myself who doesn't live in JavaScript) set of utilities and controls for building richly interactive Web applications. (Both inputex and YUI are under very liberal licences: MIT for the former, and BSD for the latter.)

Through YUI, inputex supports and uses AJAX, and it obviously relies on the DOM for hooking into a Web container.

Needless to say, my head is spinning.

What I still have to do, is to package that all up in some way that lets me use a "simple" definition (perhaps taken from a database of sorts) to generate the Web forms on the fly. I'm not bored. :-D

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Software and Apache :: 11 Jun 2009 :: e-mail


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