I would like to know if there would be any interest in this two things:
- A business app oriented widget kit/pack:
- Data grid widget - data driven grid control with integrated or customizable cell layout, image or simple shape based layout design, data based column creation, end user sorting on column header press, automatic grouping based on grouping column value, collapsable groups, fixed columns left or right, easy to update data, fixed or content based or callback function defined row height, dynamic data loading and row creation for large data sets, ...
- Calendar widget - calendar with integrated or customizable day cell layout, adjustable week start day, integrated touch events returning date pressed and optional cutom parameters, go to, next, previous month functions, automatic day view refresh on setting custom data, ...
- Improved table view with expandable details (in same view), custom row touch events, refresh row functionality, optinal data set (table) based row creation, with automatic refresh on data change, dual row view setup to enable changed row layout in touch events or any other situation, ...
- Combo box - drop down or pop-up selection
- layout utility functions to allow aligning elements (example: align top will keep height but expand width to fill screen of any device and position on top of screen), anchors (example anchor top will maintain distance from top on any device, anchor top and bottom will mantain distance from both top and bottom on any device and stretch/shrink element accordingly)
- various other goodies and new widgets when I come up with them
2. I have developed an app for the company I work for and the nature of it is that it constantly get's functionality added so instead of constantly changing the app and updating it on all devices I developed a system where the app serves as a web service client and the app functionality and UI is entirely defined on the server. In this way when something needs to be added I just update my server component (which is a dll and doesn't even require a service restart) and everyone gets the new functionality instantly. This ofcourse means that the app is completely network depended which in my case it would be anyway as all the data needs to be pulled from the server.
The UI is defined with an XML schema that defines element positioning (alignment and anchor based) and callback values that get sent back to the server on user events. Currently supported elements:
- data grid
- edit/text input
- submitbutton (a button that submits data from other elements)
- list (table view with ability to host any element on rows and submit changed data back to server)
- buttonGroup/segmented control
- scroll view
- new things will be added
The server side can be desgned in any evironment you prefer as long as it supports either SOAP services or http requests with JSON content. The control/widget style is defined in the client so basically you need to make one build to customize the style to your liking.
In the future I may develop a graphical UI designer but it's a bit complicated as it has to be linked to user defined external functions to get data.
I would like to hear your thoughts and comments on this two things. Is this something that would be of interested to more than a few people. And if you think that this would help you or your company what do you think would be a reasonable sales model. I know how developers usualy feel about paid components and systems as I myself think hard about any expense in terms of "Is it really worth it and will it save me time and money." These are complicated bits of code which I actually enjoy writing but I don't have time to continue developing them properly to bring them to general use without any return and I don't like to do things unless they are done properly.