RAP 1.5 comes with cool new features such as HTML markup support for widgets …
… many extensions and improvements for Tree and Table …
… and a brand-new look and feel. For all changes, have a look at the stuffed New & Noteworthy.
But we did not just add features, we did some heavy lifting under the hood! The most important change is the open JSON-protocol that the server uses now to send its updates to the client. This protocol makes it possible to connect alternative clients to a RAP server–and it doesn’t have to be just web clients. Even though developing a full featured RAP client is certainly a lot of work, for a subset of widgets it is actually doable. With this change, RAP makes a big step towards a versatile framework for remote applications.
But this wouldn’t be too exiting if RAP still depended on Equinox and the Eclipse extension points. Thanks to the new ApplicationConfiguration API and the new OSGi integration, RAP now can also be used to write very lightweight applications that run in other environments such as Apache Karaf. Those applications will also benefit from the new JEE-compatible operation mode that does not start separate threads for every user session anymore and even allows for clustering in high-availability applications.
And finally, also the RAP project itself has become a bit more open. All our source code has been moved to Git and is also mirrored on github, so it’s now easy to fork the code base and share your experiments! All our artifacts are now built on the Eclipse foundation’s Hudson server and if you always want to work with the latest and greatest RAP target, there’s now a repository with the latest nightly builds.
Looking back to all the things we achieved in the last year, I feel proud and happy, and I would like to thank all the great people who made this release happen: Ivan Furnadjiev for most of the real work on the new protocol, the Tree improvements, and most of the >500 bugfixes in 1.5, Tim Buschtöns for the ever-improving web client and the excellent Grid client implementation, Nick Mussin for the beautiful new look and feel, Frank Appel for the new ApplicationConfiguration API and the RWT-OSGi integration, Rüdiger Herrmann for the JEE mode and clustering support, Holger Staudacher for his great ideas and help with the design of the new protocol, all EclipseSource people who helped here and there, and last but not least, the great community that helps us improving RAP with their bug reports, insights and discussions. Thank you!
So what’s next? Well, we’re now making plans for the next major version, RAP 2.0. But this will be topic of a later post – now get and enjoy RAP 1.5 😉