Tuesday, August 28th, 2007p>Chris Klundt and his team have created theClassConnection, a website that provides tools to connect students/teachers/tutors across any campus, any class. They can share files, messages, flashcard decks, and more.
The application is written entirely using GWT with Script.aculo.us for effects.
We asked Chris a few questions about the project:
- Stay in Java (my language of choice)
- Compose and debug in Eclipse (my favourite editor/debugger)
- Debug again in GWT Hosted Mode (a good debugger for second tier work)
What are the features of the application
As far as architecture goes, it is a single page application:
- The entire application is written in one HTML/JS page.
- Browsers Back/Forward buttons work thanks to GWT history management.
- We use Script.aculo.us everywhere, and it works seamlessly with GWT. â€œBlind upâ€, â€œblind downâ€, and â€œgrowâ€ are some of the cooler effects.
As far as features:
- In many cases, the searching is done right on the client. No need for a database call.
- Database searches are still done as you type, so no clicking “submit”.
Uploading: Upload Ajax style, with real time progress bars and instant results once the upload is complete.
Movable Popups: Drag popups around the screen to get a better view.
- We’ve build a collaborative online calendar that gives several display options for users including “list view”, “days & weeks view” and “months & years view”
- Pick and choose what events you want to see at any given time thanks to instantly responsive filtering.
- Drag and drop file tree structure, just like a Mac file view.
- All public files can be “bookmarked” to your file tree. Each user can rename any file once they have it bookmarked, because you get your own copy of the file.
- Creating a deck is blazing fast due to “auto-card creation”.
- Add images from the web or your computer to any card.
- Studying flashcard decks is fast, easy and very customizable thanks to our LightBox GUI.
- Decks can be shared and bookmarked, the same as files.
- Thanks to a “Message Repository” messages are auto-sorted by class and user, and viewable all together in the inbox.
- Composing new messages is easy thanks to type-ahead recipient lookup (with user profiles too).
- Open multiple threads simultaneously. Switch between “flat mode” and “scrolling”.
- Post in real time.
Auto Update: The site updates everything once another user adds/changes/removes something from public view. (e.g. User adds a calendar event to my class, if Iâ€™m logged in, I see the new event in less than a minute)
Here is a quick walk-through of the product: