Grails Form Builder Plugin

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Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
Hi,

I am looking for Form Builder Plugin which allow user to create forms from browser without any programming or coding, for example http://wufoo.com/ (may not be that full-scale in term of functionality). I am surprised that I couldn't found any, given maturity of the Grails framework. Do you know any?

I plan to create one if there is no such plugin in the market. Is it feasible to create Form Builder Plugin? What do you think?

Your inputs and ideas is important, please advice.

Thank you.

Regards,
Chee Kin
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Graeme Rocher
Administrator
I'm not aware of one

Cheers

On Sun, Sep 26, 2010 at 3:15 AM, Lim Chee Kin <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hi,
>
> I am looking for Form Builder Plugin which allow user to create forms from
> browser without any programming or coding, for example http://wufoo.com/
> (may not be that full-scale in term of functionality). I am surprised that I
> couldn't found any, given maturity of the Grails framework. Do you know any?
>
> I plan to create one if there is no such plugin in the market. Is it
> feasible to create Form Builder Plugin? What do you think?
>
> Your inputs and ideas is important, please advice.
>
> Thank you.
>
> Regards,
> Chee Kin
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/Grails-Form-Builder-Plugin-tp2713996p2713996.html
> Sent from the Grails - dev mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from this list, please visit:
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>
>



--
Graeme Rocher
Grails Project Lead
SpringSource - A Division of VMware
http://www.springsource.com

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

virtualeyes
Feel free to disagree, but the Grail has not yet been found until a form builder plugin has been created, or Grails has a means to auto-generate (with developer intervention to override defaults) form data based on the defined object model.

I am absolutely excited about everything in Grails (GORM is a godsend, for example) with the exception of this missing piece.

The problem with web development is that an enormous amount of time is wasted laying out forms, so much typing to generate simple <input>, <select>, etc. tags and corresponding styling.  While in PHP land Drupal is generally a horrendous mess to dive into code-wise, the speed of development is absurd, since forms themselves are generated via Drupal admin forms.

I'll defer to the Java gurus here, as I've been doing pseudo-OO development in PHP for years, but as a new comer to Grails I'm cringing at having to return to actually creating every formfield entry by hand, even if tags like <g:remote> are excellent inventions.

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

andre
i respectfully disagree, the "create-domain-model, generate-view,
customize view" is already very powerful and the code is so incredibly
lean and flexible, it quickly gets you to 90% - the only real pain is
here, if you customize a view, you cannot quickly re-generate and keep
your modifications, that´s cut&paste

also Grails could have more powerful scaffolding in general and
artifact scaffolding (like started with the scaffold tags plugin)
which would also ease user-form-building

ofc I agree, a form builder would be really great, but in order to
make it look good you have to bind yourself to a very specificy
environment (eg. jquery vs yui vs xyz) and adding all the generic
stuff makes stuff very complex

cheers,
andré

2010/9/27 virtualeyes <[hidden email]>:

>
> Feel free to disagree, but the Grail has not yet been found until a form
> builder plugin has been created, or Grails has a means to auto-generate
> (with developer intervention to override defaults) form data based on the
> defined object model.
>
> I am absolutely excited about everything in Grails (GORM is a godsend, for
> example) with the exception of this missing piece.
>
> The problem with web development is that an enormous amount of time is
> wasted laying out forms, so much typing to generate simple <input>,
> <select>, etc. tags and corresponding styling.  While in PHP land Drupal is
> generally a horrendous mess to dive into code-wise, the speed of development
> is absurd, since forms themselves are generated via Drupal admin forms.
>
> I'll defer to the Java gurus here, as I've been doing pseudo-OO development
> in PHP for years, but as a new comer to Grails I'm cringing at having to
> return to actually creating every formfield entry by hand, even if tags like
> <g:remote> are excellent inventions.
>
>
> --
> View this message in context: http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/Grails-Form-Builder-Plugin-tp2713996p2715783.html
> Sent from the Grails - dev mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from this list, please visit:
>
>    http://xircles.codehaus.org/manage_email
>
>
>

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

pledbrook
In reply to this post by virtualeyes
> The problem with web development is that an enormous amount of time is
> wasted laying out forms, so much typing to generate simple <input>,
> <select>, etc. tags and corresponding styling.  While in PHP land Drupal is
> generally a horrendous mess to dive into code-wise, the speed of development
> is absurd, since forms themselves are generated via Drupal admin forms.

The Bean Fields plugin should take a lot of the pain away without
losing flexibility:

    http://grails.org/plugin/bean-fields

Peter

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

virtualeyes
In reply to this post by andre
If you're getting 90% with, "create-domain-model, generate-view, customize view", I am getting on the Grails train ;--)

Realistically though, if you're creating a non-trivial site from scratch, only having image slices from the designer and suggested font type and styling for various CSS elements, the above will not be getting you anywhere near 90%, maybe 50%, unless you have a wealth of pre-existing code to draw on (e.g. menu builder, form builder, or other essential admin module in your developer toolbox).  I have no such tools in Groovy/Grails unless I port over some of the essentials I've written over the years in PHP.

This is not a criticism of Grails per se, as it's a framework, not a CMS.

Agreed, form builders are complex, particularly when hooked into an admin module that allows for dynamic sorting and modification of formfield element attributes (e.g. changing display type from select list to radio or checkbox, validation requirement type, size, js event handler, etc.)

I'm a big fan of code reduction a la jquery shorthand syntax, less is indeed more, IMO. Rails inspired frameworks take the code-drives-the-model approach, which means that one must define properties and constraints by hand, something I'll need to adjust to in Grails as I have been defining the model (in MySQL) and generating the domain and its properties based on imported DB table fields -- basically saves having to type out domain properties and constraints/sorting, which are all managed via admin GUI drag & drop, basically a lightweight Drupal.

But, I'm sick of PHP

I've had enough of $this-> !!
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

andre
Actually Groovy/Grails brought me back to programming! I was on the
PHP train for a while since the very first verison of PHP3, then
stopped because my job didnt leave me any time, then started again
years later on Groovy/Grails because you can do so much with little
time
The community is a little bit different, grails dev email volume (as
well as average email length) cannot be compared with php-dev, but I
have the feeling the reason is you have mostly really seasoned devs
here who try to minimize overhead communication ;-) which I really
like

cheers,
andré

2010/9/27 virtualeyes <[hidden email]>:

>
> If you're getting 90% with, "create-domain-model, generate-view, customize
> view", I am getting on the Grails train ;--)
>
> Realistically though, if you're creating a non-trivial site from scratch,
> only having image slices from the designer and suggested font type and
> styling for various CSS elements, the above will not be getting you anywhere
> near 90%, maybe 50%, unless you have a wealth of pre-existing code to draw
> on (e.g. menu builder, form builder, or other essential admin module in your
> developer toolbox).  I have no such tools in Groovy/Grails unless I port
> over some of the essentials I've written over the years in PHP.
>
> This is not a criticism of Grails per se, as it's a framework, not a CMS.
>
> Agreed, form builders are complex, particularly when hooked into an admin
> module that allows for dynamic sorting and modification of formfield element
> attributes (e.g. changing display type from select list to radio or
> checkbox, validation requirement type, size, js event handler, etc.)
>
> I'm a big fan of code reduction a la jquery shorthand syntax, less is indeed
> more, IMO. Rails inspired frameworks take the code-drives-the-model
> approach, which means that one must define properties and constraints by
> hand, something I'll need to adjust to in Grails as I have been defining the
> model (in MySQL) and generating the domain and its properties based on
> imported DB table fields -- basically saves having to type out domain
> properties and constraints/sorting, which are all managed via admin GUI drag
> & drop, basically a lightweight Drupal.
>
> But, I'm sick of PHP
>
> I've had enough of $this-> !!
> --
> View this message in context: http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/Grails-Form-Builder-Plugin-tp2713996p2715927.html
> Sent from the Grails - dev mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from this list, please visit:
>
>    http://xircles.codehaus.org/manage_email
>
>
>

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Roshan Shrestha
In reply to this post by Lim Chee Kin
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

virtualeyes
In reply to this post by andre
Yes, I get the sense that Groovy/Grails community is comprised primarily of Java devs, which is to say, the level here is quite high compared to PHP dev community.

I need to make the break though, and neither Python, nor Ruby fit the bill for me -- coming from PHP where interface, extends, this, private, public, etc. are used, Java syntax does not look unfamiliar, and by extension Groovy/Grails therefore looks like a good fit.

I'll adjust, plenty of documentation to plow through to get my feet wet, IBM series grabbed me from the start ;--)

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
In reply to this post by Lim Chee Kin
Hi,

Wow! I am surprised that so many responses for this topic. Thanks for your promptly response.

Thanks to Peter for shared the link of Bean Fields plugin at http://grails.org/plugin/bean-fields. We as Java Developer, have no problem to code the GSP forms.

However, the idea of Form Builder is to delegate the form creation jobs to the user (none-developer) that know nothing about programming. You can have better idea by watching the video at http://www.pandaform.com/videos/how-formbuilder-works/ 

Thanks for Roshan shared the link for Browser-side Template Engines at http://blog.pandaform.com/techie/browser-side-template-engines-roundup/. The link is definitely helpful to create the Form Builder plugin.

As many of us here think that this important missing piece (the Form Builder plugin) is necessary to Grails framework, can't we team-up to create such a plugin? Anyone here interested?

Wish to hear from you soon!

Regards,
Chee Kin
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

virtualeyes
There are several form builder tools a la Panda Form available on the net -- drag & drop GUI that allows for non-coders to manage site content. Impressive, highly attractive functional interface for sure.

It seems that a Grails implementation would need to draw on declared domain properties (i.e. String field-name1, String field-name2, etc.) vs. drawing from a data source as is the case with  DB stored nodes in Drupal where the data source drives the code, basically the exact opposite of Rails influenced frameworks where model generation occurs first at the code level by defining domain properties (and then "grails generate-domain-class" etc.)

Since Grails must start at the code level, non-programmers would not be able to create new web forms without programmer intervention.  If an admin center were created, however, then non-programmers could define formfield attributes (read: domain & constraint/sort properties) on the GUI level using a PandaForm-like interface.

But then you're starting down the Grupal path (Grails + Drupal) which may or may not be desirable (for me, an emphatic yes!).

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Peter Bell-5

On Sep 28, 2010, at 5:25 AM, virtualeyes wrote:

> Since Grails must start at the code level, non-programmers would not be able
> to create new web forms without programmer intervention.

Not strictly speaking true - you'd just have to do a bit of work. I have played with generating my domain class definitions from a wizard based system. The trick is you need to write out source files and then recompile the app automatically. Right now I use one app to generate another. I'm not sure if there would be a way around the usability issues of an app recompiling itself, however, so you might either need two apps or have a clunky user experience when the user hit "rebuild".

Best Wishes,
Peter
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

virtualeyes
Exactly what I meant by the need for a GUI, or as you say, "wizard based system" to generate the source files -- creating a web 2.0 wizard based system with full drag & drop functionality would effectively be Grails a la Drupal, where the GUI drives the initial source code generation.

Drupal is of course a labyrinthian mess behind the scenes, so not suggesting Grails follow suit obviously.

Just in terms of speed of development, having a GUI that generates domain properties and constraints/sorting for you AND handles form generation would indeed really get you 90% of the way toward site completion -- that is something to get excited about!

Biggest hurdle for me in starting to develop in Grails is JVM startup time even in interactive mode -- this is coming from PHP, however, where one is quickly alt-tab-ing between IDE and web browser to view changes. Will have to adjust one way or the other, Python's explicit self turns me off enough not to go down that road, and Ruby's Perl-ish syntax just does not appeal either. Groovy is the best scripting lang. I've seen yet, and Grails does the bulk of the legwork, so will have to experiment here, maybe I should try Sun Java instead of OpenJDK??
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

virtualeyes
Actually seemed to have sorted out performance issue in "grails interactive" by bumping up JAVA_OPTS to -Xmx1024m, or at least I think that has made for improved IDE-to-web-browser response times.

Which is making me feel much better about getting on the Grails train |-)
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
In reply to this post by Peter Bell-5
Peter Bell-5 wrote
On Sep 28, 2010, at 5:25 AM, virtualeyes wrote:

> Since Grails must start at the code level, non-programmers would not be able
> to create new web forms without programmer intervention.

Not strictly speaking true - you'd just have to do a bit of work. I have played with generating my domain class definitions from a wizard based system. The trick is you need to write out source files and then recompile the app automatically. Right now I use one app to generate another. I'm not sure if there would be a way around the usability issues of an app recompiling itself, however, so you might either need two apps or have a clunky user experience when the user hit "rebuild".

Best Wishes,
Peter
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Hi Peter,

Yes! This is my initial idea too, to create wizard screen allow user to define the domain class and generate the domain class based on input from user and then generate all other artifacts using "grails generate-all". Do you still have the code you played for the wizard based system? It will be great if you can contribute it as the initial code base of the Form Builder plugin.

Regards,
Chee Kin
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
In reply to this post by Lim Chee Kin
Hi there!

I have created an online discussion group at http://groups.google.com/group/grails-form-builder-plugin to discuss about the plugin project. You are invited to join the group to discuss about different aspects of the project including functional, technical, documentation, roadmap, project hosting, etc.

See you there! (By the way, I will always active in this thread)

Regards,
Chee Kin

 
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
Huh? No one interested?

Regards,
Chee Kin


On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 11:08 AM, Lim Chee Kin [via Grails] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi there!

I have created an online discussion group at http://groups.google.com/group/grails-form-builder-plugin to discuss about the plugin project. You are invited to join the group to discuss about different aspects of the project including functional, technical, documentation, roadmap, project hosting, etc.

See you there! (By the way, I will always active in this thread)

Regards,
Chee Kin

 


View message @ http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/Grails-Form-Builder-Plugin-tp2713996p2718263.html
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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

burtbeckwith
Try the User list, there are more subscribers there.

Burt

>
> Huh? No one interested?
>
> Regards,
> Chee Kin
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 11:08 AM, Lim Chee Kin [via Grails] <
> [hidden email]<ml-node%[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
>
> > Hi there!
> >
> > I have created an online discussion group at
> > http://groups.google.com/group/grails-form-builder-plugin to discuss about
> > the plugin project. You are invited to join the group to discuss about
> > different aspects of the project including functional, technical,
> > documentation, roadmap, project hosting, etc.
> >
> > See you there! (By the way, I will always active in this thread)
> >
> > Regards,
> > Chee Kin
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >  View message @
> > http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/Grails-Form-Builder-Plugin-tp2713996p2718263.html
> > To unsubscribe from Grails Form Builder Plugin, click here<http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/template/TplServlet.jtp?tpl=unsubscribe_by_code&node=2713996&code=bGltY2hlZWtpbkB2b2JqZWN0LmNvbXwyNzEzOTk2fC0xNTgwMDcyNjQ3>.
> >
> >
> >
>
>

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
Hi Burt,

Noted. Thanks for suggestion...

Regards,
Chee Kin


On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM, Burt Beckwith <[hidden email]> wrote:
Try the User list, there are more subscribers there.

Burt

>
> Huh? No one interested?
>
> Regards,
> Chee Kin
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 11:08 AM, Lim Chee Kin [via Grails] <
> [hidden email]<[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
>
> > Hi there!
> >
> > I have created an online discussion group at
> > http://groups.google.com/group/grails-form-builder-plugin to discuss about
> > the plugin project. You are invited to join the group to discuss about
> > different aspects of the project including functional, technical,
> > documentation, roadmap, project hosting, etc.
> >
> > See you there! (By the way, I will always active in this thread)
> >
> > Regards,
> > Chee Kin
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------
> >  View message @
> > http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/Grails-Form-Builder-Plugin-tp2713996p2718263.html
> > To unsubscribe from Grails Form Builder Plugin, click here<http://grails.1312388.n4.nabble.com/template/TplServlet.jtp?tpl=unsubscribe_by_code&node=2713996&code=bGltY2hlZWtpbkB2b2JqZWN0LmNvbXwyNzEzOTk2fC0xNTgwMDcyNjQ3>.
> >
> >
> >
>
>

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Re: Grails Form Builder Plugin

Lim Chee Kin
Hi there!

Thanks for input from all of you.

FYI, I had documented my design idea for the Grails Form Builder plugin at https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1RcSV2xVm4MXA85GUk7_7x8W_GpA9-g3J9AJUDAgKCUE&hl=en&authkey=CJbw0MUM

Your feedback is very important to us and very much appreciated.
Please tell us what is in your mind!

Thanks.

Regards,
Chee Kin
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