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Metro and jMaki Q&A from a Preso

Posted by arungupta on November 20, 2007 at 3:12 AM PST

I presented on Metro and
jMaki in a invitation-only
gathering on Nov
15. The audience in both the sessions was pretty interactive. Even
though the sessions were invitation-only, I'm posting some of the
questions asked during the sessions along with their answers.

  1. How to build support for jMaki in other languages such as Perl ?

    The best option is to check out
    jMaki workspace
    and look at Jmaki.php and XmlHttpProxy.php.

    The basics are relatively easy but not always obvious. There
    is no runtime spec so it's hard to get all the little details
    right: Theming, API keys, and the Proxy behavior are pretty specific. Please
    feel free to ask a question on
    jMaki Forums. It would be
    helpful if you can help us create such a document while adding
    support for Perl.
  2. Is it possible to point a DataTable widget to a Database
    table, introspect the database table and auto-generate the
    rows/columns ?

    Java Persistence API (in Java) and
    ActiveRecord (in Rails)
    already serve this purpose. There are detailed instructions for
    jMaki/JPA and
    jMaki/ActiveRecord. At this time
    there are no plans to tie closely to the database. Please file an
    RFE if you like this feature.
  3. Do we have any comparisons between jMaki and Open Laszlo ?

    We need to understand Open Laszlo better to prepare a
    comparison. At this time
    no comparison is available.
  4. How are topics implemented ? What is the data structure that
    implements them ?


    The topic name is a
    String / Regular expression Object.
    The topic names can also include wildcards (start, include, end with
    a *). The payload must be an object (strings are objects).
    provides some more details.
  5. Do we have any performance data on large data sets - e.g. 15,000
    rows in a Data Table widget ?

    Carla has a
    good sample
    that explains how pagination can be achieved for large data sets. The real question is "how much can
    you realistically cache on the client?". There are lots of
    algorithms and that can be more application logic.
    If you are going to deal with sets like this then the Dojo Grid is supposed to be
    good as it handles client-side caching and paging.
    We'll be adding it as a widget for the dojo 1.0 push.
  6. Are there any widgets that support streaming video ?

    Not yet but it would be very easy to wrap a widget like that. For
    example, please look at Sound extension that is available as wrapper
    over Flash.
  7. How to prevent scripting attack on jMaki-wrapped widgets ?

    jMaki wrappers are very trivial. The data from
    an external domain is not processed in any manner and instead passed
    on to the underlying toolkits. We make sure the wrappers are well
    tested and rely on the underlying toolkits to test their widgets.

And now for the Metro session:

  1. How more recent Metro jars be installed on GlassFish ?

    A stand-alone build of Metro can be downloaded from This
    build comes with wsit-on-glassfish.xml script and can
    be used to override the jars in an existing
    GlassFish v2
  2. Why Reliable Messaging is required if TCP/IP already provides reliability ?

    TCP/IP provides reliability at the network level. The Reliable
    Messaging support in Metro implements a transport-independent messaging
    protocol (defined by the WS-Reliable Messaging spec) with a SOAP
    Binding. This allows the SOAP message to be used in alternate
    transports such as JMS or SMTP. It also enables Reliability between
    a Client and Endpoint with multiple intermediaries in-between which
    is not possible with TCP/IP.
  3. Is the "Test Web service" feature available outside NetBeans ?

    The "Test Web service" feature in NetBeans makes use of Tester
    application in GlassFish. It is a web application that dynamically
    generates the JSP pages by introspecting the WSDL. Currently it only
    works only for methods that have primitive types in the signature.
  4. What would it take to run Metro on Embedded Jetty ?

    Servlet-based endpoints can be easily deployed on Jetty as explained
    The different variants of

    () currently runs only on Light-weight HTTP
    server bundled along with Java
    SE 6
    . An RFE has already been filed for this functionality and
    it will be fixed in a future release of Metro.
  5. Does Metro Security integrate with Active Directory ?

    Even though Metro Security cannot be directly integrated with
    ActiveDirectory, Authentication can be plugged through the integration
    of Metro with OpenSSO.
  6. What specific performance improvements have we made in Metro ?

    Here are some of the key performance improvements:
    • Revisited some of the key abstractions. The physical data
      representation was hidden from the user and yet backed by
      different implementations such as InputStream, JAXB objects, DOM
      node, Source, etc.
    • Faster, type-safe read access to commonly used properties
      such as Target Endpoint Address and SOAPAction. Also lazy
    • Headers are made randomly accessible.
    • Filtering of data was enabled by creating an additional
      wrapper instead and delaying the actual filtering
    • Mostly JAXB is used to write the JAX-WS payload. There were
      numerous improvements made in JAXB such as:
      • Collapsing the layers and write directly to OutputStream
        instead of using StAX.
      • Pre-encode tag names to UTF-8
      • Numbers are converted straight to byte stream
      • Namespace prefixes encoded just once and reused
      • Lazy reading and writing of attachments (for example
        image is encoded in to JPEG byte stream)

    Metro team also presented a
    these improvements at
    JavaOne 2006.

  7. How much traffic is bloated because of enabling Reliability or Security ?

    There is a definite bloating of messages that happen when either
    Reliability or Security or Transactions are enabled. I'll provide
    the exact numbers in a later blog but all the messages are clearly
    defined by the

Feel free to ask any other questions in

Metro Forum
jMaki Forum.


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