Hitting it for six

Wicket reaches 6.0, learns some new tricks

Another week, another Apache foundation project getting an upgrade. This time it’s the turn of Java-based web framework Wicket, which has reached version 6.0.

Yes, you read that correctly: Wicket has seen its numbering system recently redefined, jumping straight to 6.0, Despite the absence of a Wicket 3, 4 or 5, due to this version’s requirement of Java 6.

Wicket 6.0 includes a rewrite of the custom AJAX library to jQuery, making it easier to integrate jQuery plugins -- and allowing the framework to be swapped for another if you have a preference.

More experimental modules provide real-time server push functionality, both with integration of Atmosphere (which has also just shipped a new release) and native Websockets, though the latter only supports Jetty 7+ and Tomcat 7+ for now. Another experimental module allows integration of Twitter’s open-source Bootstrap frontend.

Other changes Wicket 6.0 brings to the table includes the replacing of inline events with JavaScript event registration, allowing multiple event listeners to be added and (obviously cleaning up and reducing the size of the markup); ${label} replacing ${input} in feedback messages for clarity; and the replacing of the deprecated Tree component with AbstractTree, and specialised forms NestedTree and TableTree.

Meanwhile, a change to the IDataProvider<T> interface from ‘int’ to ‘long’ to match the Java Persistence API, allowing use of larger data sets -- or, to use the current buzzword, ‘big data’.

Two features missing the boat are component queueing and Contexts and Dependency injection (CDI) integration, the former postponed due to “various technical problems” and the latter not yet ready to merge to Apache Wicket.

Overall it’s a pretty solid update to the framework, with the experimental real-time modules providing some indication of the direction Wicket is heading in. At the time of writing, the download page has yet to be updated, though press releases assure us it is “now available”.

Looking for an introduction to Wicket? Check out our exclusive tutorial, written by Jeremy Thomerson.

Elliot Bentley

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