"Forex" client consulting trace

a Forex company needs our advice about which web framework to be used for their future development. We had a little discussion about it here is the trace:

Arik Levin:

     Hi all,
     Here is a scenario where I need your client side advice, the company has an    existing finance application written in JSP / MVC (self implemented).
     The application's screens are very standard nothing unusual except the future console which has unusual designed gauge style charts.
     The console is a Dashboard like therefor they need a strong layout to make it a bit dynamic. Other pages are in HTML standard and the server side talk is Java of course.

     They want to rewrite their application (maybe with some reuse) and they asked for our advice about which framework to be used.
     After a little thinking we have minimized the options to be Flex/ExtJS/Wicket. From that point we have some thoughts for what is the best approach.

     Each framework can do the job separately or they can be put together for specific tasks as a layout (ExtJS/Flex) or as a custom chart(Flex) what is your opinion?

Ittay Dror:
    from what i understand it sounds like wicket is the best match for replacing their current application.
    flex will not reuse any of their existing html and extjs is client side only, you still need the server side, especially if you want to keep the generation of HTML. wicket has good ajax support and you can easily use extjs widgets with it if you want.
    you can also integrate flex for just the chart, but this may be an overkill.

Eyal Golan:
    One more thing, after reading Ittay's and Adi's responses.
    I think that one of the strongest features of Wicket that it is aimed for Java users / developers.
    If the team is expert in Java, and we don't want to overkill, I do think that Wicket is the best choice.


Adi Baron:
    You didn't read well...
    Ittay explained that even with Wicket - JavaScript is unavoidable...
    (Unless you write a shitty application, of course)


Adi Baron:
    I understood from Lior that the development team's expertise are mainly in Java.
    I would ask the relevant person (team leader for example) if a two days JavaScript training is considerable.

    I'll explain why:
    Wicket is a good framework, but nothing more. It will never get you where frameworks like ExtJS will.
    So, considering the long run value of JavaScript/ExtJS knowledge for a team that is expected to deliver an Ajax application, two days are a small price to pay.
    (That is, of course, if we are there to support and backup the team in the first stages (at least) of the project)

    Writing the described application using ExtJS and embedded Flex widgets is my choice.
    However, if JavaScript course is impossible - Wicket is surely a good choice.


Arik Levin:
    As I see it wicket will be the main framework and either Flex or ExtJS will be used as the layout/custom chart.
    Does Wicket has some solution for a decent layout?


Ittay Dror:
    if you mean something like a navigation menu, header, footer, etc. see borders (http://cwiki.apache.org/WICKET/consistent-page-layout-using-borders.html).
    if you're talking about things like accordions, then this is in the realm of widgets - there are many widgets integrated with wicket, just google.


Adi Baron:
    Going forward, they should realize that javascript knowledge is required to create an application that looks attractive. wicket has integrations with widgets that allow you to control them from a java code, but i think that understanding what is going on is still important.


Arik Levin:
    My impression was that he wouldn't go for ExtJS for that reason - JavaScript.

Adi Baron:
    Anyway, as I asked Arik - Aren't JavaScript and ActionScript practically the same?
    Isn't eliminating one is like eliminating the other?

Ittay Dror:
    Choosing Flex for on-line trading application might be a bad choice because of its single-threaded model.
    Embedding Flex widgets inside an ExtJS UI gives you both good looking UI and the ability to update multiple regions concurrently.

Adi Baron:
    1. If they don't like JavaScript then Flex is no good as well, right?
       It's practically the same...
    2. ExtJS layouts over Wicket panels is a big no-no.

Ittay Dror:
    if their application is ok with being document oriented, or it is not very important that it will be very dynamic (meaning they get money from clients for some core technology), then turning to flex is just throwing away money (they will invest a lot of money and get something that will not generate more sales). in this case wicket is the best choice: the current team can learn it fast, the current application can be converted to it fast, and it then allows to move forward and add cool looking widgets (to the extent that all GUI is built with ExtJS widgets).
    as an example, the GUI for managing netapp servers (storage) is one of the worst looking web application i've seen. and yet there's no reason for netapp to change that because the management is usually filling in simple forms (volume sizes) or navigating data and people buy netapp servers because they provide good storage, not the web interface.

Arik Levin:
    One thing I can say about JavaScript - developers tends to run away as much as they can to a far far away land.
    And writing ExtJS is pure JavaScript - Wicket customization has an HTML/JS output I can see that but then again if you are using existing components you hardly write JavaScript and nothing that is near ExtJS.
    The best options are ExtJS + Flex or just Flex the Wicket is actually a political choice since it looks like the same environment as Struts like

Adi Baron:
    1) That's because most of them perceive it as snippets you add to 'onclick', it is actually a very nice language. i have a lecture i gave once which made the developers love (well, like) it.
    2) you can integrate extjs (or other widgets) easily, see the link eyal sent. if the integration is good then you get both worlds: cool looking widgets without writing javascript.
    3) political => business. if they want to convert their application to something very dynamic and commit to the cost to rewrite everything, then flex is #1 i think.


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