Wicket Wonderland

Ryan Sonnek bio photo By Ryan Sonnek

A few recent announcements within the Wicket community seem blog worthy.

A new wicketstuff project is available for creating suckerfish DHTML menus is now available. Suckerfish menus are cross browser compatible and use very elegant CSS and HTML. I’ve been looking for one of these javascript libraries for a long time, and this is one of the nicest (and simplest) I’ve seen.

A new wicketstuff project is available for integrating with Google’s new charting API. It’s amazing how quickly this project came together. Google just announced this service a few days ago, and there have already been two separate working projects submitted for Wicket. It just goes to show how easy it is to custom distributable components with Wicket.

When was the last time someone did anything this cool in JSF? I have yet to see a community like Wicket anywhere else in the Java web framework space. Through my scientific research, I estimate that a new opensource Wicket component is created every 10 minutes, while JSF has to wait for 18 months for commercial vendors to get something out the door. =)

Is there anything out there that you can’t do with Wicket? The number of components that are readily available for building web applications is very compelling. Some of the more interesting components include:

  • google maps integration

  • Rich text editors

  • flickr integration

  • rss publishing tools

  • any javascript framework you can imagine (YUI, prototype/scriptaculous, mootools, jquery)

Are there any pieces missing for building great web applications with Wicket? One comment I’ve heard in the past is, “Community publishing of components is great, but it creates confusion for users on where to pick and choose components from.” Eclipse users struggle with this today while scavenging across the internet to get random plugins to make them productive. Eclipse is trying to help developers by creating the Calisto distribution, and it would be nice to provide a similar “Uber-Wicket” distribution that included the core Wicket library along with several “recommended” components (wicket-extensions, rss, etc). Since Wicket is Apache licensed and some of these great projects are not, it would have to be distributed outside of the Apache project. Any ideas?