Red Hat
Jan 23, 2013
by Julien Viet

GateIn 4.0

 

GateIn 3.0 was released almost 3 years ago as the result of the collaboration of the eXo Platform and Red Hat team. The team worked then on a serie of improvements for 3 years until the recent GateIn 3.5: the project improved and gained maturity among releases, specially with the recent 3.5 release. The main goal of GateIn 4.0 is to rework the portal engine: the current engine has aged enough for being replaced by a more modern engine for providing better everything.

 

This project is important to me: I left Red Hat for eXo Platform in 2008 and I was working on the future JBoss Portal 3.0 at this moment and I left some unfinished ideas. During the GateIn collaboration other ideas came, some were implemented in GateIn, some could not due to the architecture. 4.0 is for me the opportunity to work this out.

Juzu

 

The Juzu Web framework will be used for rebuilding the aggregation engine: a portal before all is a web application and the idea is to let Juzu focus on the web part and leave to the GateIn engine focus on being a set of controllers (in the MVC way) for aggregating content or editing it.

 

Juzu was started a year ago, it provides since version 0.6 a servlet mode that makes it able to deliver web applications in addition of portlet applications. Of course it embeds some part of GateIn already in it, for instance the Juzu route controller is an improvement of the route controller of GateIn.

 

Juzu relies on the JSR-330 specification for wiring components and provides therefore a standard programming model. It integrates with Annotation Processing for doing wonderful things with Java (yes we not planning to rewrite GateIn in another language).

 

The project

 

The main focus is to rewrite is the portal engine with the serving of portal pages based on a better model and the native portal applications: the page edition for example. The scope is well defined and is defined in the In Place Editing specification . It describes an evolution of the current GateIn model written by Benjamin Paillereau, his great work is the essence of the feedback provided by many customers, integrators and other users.

 

A key part of the technical aspect is the aggregation engine: it will be based on the big pipe technology for providing increased performances and better latency for page rendering. The portal will also push to the client the stale portlets: for example you define a cache timeout of 1 minute for a portlet will result in GateIn updating the portlet fragment every minute.

 

Beside this we are have other goals (not extensive)

 

  • Better usability and configuration for providing a better experience
  • 4.0 will give you the possiblity to embed GateIn with an in memory implementation that provides a fast and stateless portal for testing purposes
  • Rebase the skinning and layout on Twitter Bootstrap

The road

 

GateIn 4.0 will not be the next GateIn release right away, we have plans to provide additional GateIn 3.x releases that the team is currently working on. Nevertheless GateIn 4.0 development has started recently, you can follow the development on the gatein-dev mailing list "GateIn 4.0.0" thread. I bootstrapped this work a few weeks ago and I welcome anyone wanting to contribute to join us on the list.

 

Open source and open minded.