Sonntag, 22. November 2015

Tangram Release 1.0

Since Tangram reached more than the set of features originally intended back in 2009, it was time to call the current state a 1.0 release.


The name Tangram points out that the main objective was to create web applications from a fixed set of modules and options which can form nearly any shape you would need. You can start quickly with a limited set of functionality and let the application grow. Fixed set in this case only means that you will need e.g. a model implementation but still have a choice, which one you would want to use. Also the glueing together with a Dependency Injections solution provides several options.
Another intention was to provide reasonable defaults for nearly every aspect where this is possible. You don't need to copy tons of files which do things technically necessary, which you didn't think of at that time. You only set up the things you know that you need them, and all the other features stay quiet. At least they should do something reasonable without getting in your way.


Tangram is in production use since 2011 by Provocon, Ponton, and others.

Dynamic Extendibility

For many extensions you will not even need a deployment but a change in the data repository forming small and stable cores where the application as whole can be modified to changing requirements quickly, easily and securely.
Apart from the obvious presentation stuff this includes Groovy codes to create and parse URL, extend the business logic, and even the model layer with new model classes.

Core Features

We provide object oriented templating for objects from JPA, JDO, EBean, and CoreMedia repositories. The core system emphasises dynamic web programming through CSS, JavaScript, Velocity Templates, and Groovy Codes in the repository together with basic CDN support, code minification, and caching support.

URLs can be formatted in nice, SEO friendly schemes and be easily mapped to actions to provide the result views for users.
The implementation of authentication and authorization now uses the pac4j set of libraries to provide a seamless and easy integration of plain user lists in files or the repository, OAuth providers, OpenID providers, Google App Engine user service and others for the web application and the base system itself.
This authentication solution is used grant access to the system itself but also to provide support for protected content areas in your applications. You only have to focus on the question, which content needs to be protected by a access granting scheme. Logins can be a generic login page or integrated in you application design.

Generic Editor

Except for CoreMedia we provide a generic web editor which is now responsive (there is now separate mobile editor anymore) which can be loaded from the respective cloud locations of the used components (CKEditor, CodeMirror). Also it can be extended with our dynamic web programming facilities.

Glueing Stuff Together

The mentioned default set of configurations and the option to customize this to your needs is achieved by Dependency Injection libraries. Tangram supports the usage of the Spring Framework, Google Guice, and dinistiq. It should be possible to add other solutions as well provided that they offer a decent set of functionality (which is not always the case for smaller DI libs.) including e.g. optional values, overriding of configurations, and deep generics introspection.


To illustrate the usage and provide a nice starting point, a set of example applications is provided in sync with the releases.
A documentation wiki is now starting.

Where the 1.0 Release Ends

One real limitation is the older set of JSP/Servlet APIs which need to stay in place to support the Google App Engine. So this is the final release to support the App Engine to be able to move ahead to newer APIs for several areas. This will not be achieved in the 1.0 branch.

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