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From: Ricardo Cantu
Subject: Javascript
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 09:58:46 -0700
User-agent: KMail/1.9.5

The concept is quiet simple. We have what is called "the screen handler" (sh), 
which in the past started off being a ncurses clone then was re-written to 
utilize ncurses for all screen manipulation. Recently, I re-wrote it again to 
handle both legacy terminals and FireFox (That's right, only FF, I got tired 
of cross browser support, it was worst than cross terminal support, you think 
we would have learned from the mistakes of the past). The SH actually 
compiles as a separate object that is suppose to be able to link into any 
application that needs to enteract  with the world. I broke this when I 
re-wrote this last time. I intend to add this ability back after the web ui 
stabilizes. Right now it requires that the template for the screen resided on 
a MySql database in a specific proprietary format. Later this will change 
back to accepting templates that resided in simple text files. 
Okay, here is the basic idea.

In your main app. create wrappers for functions that do not use the form 
library to output information. In text mode these wrappers would just run the 
normal NC routine and in web mode you would create a buffer of the data that 
was going to be outputted. At the point where NC would be outputting the 
screen (Where I call wrefresh for me) check for text/web mode, if text just 
call wrefresh, if web, then create a web page using all the data that was 
saved in the form lib and by your wrappers. Take this text buffer that 
contains a valid web page and give it to fcgi (Fast-cgi, google it) to hand 
it to the browser for processing by the javascript I wrote. The javascript 
basically just analyzes the page and tries to setup a ncurses type 
environment that you can then use to control what happens on the web page as 
users type. With this script you have total control of everything the web 
browser does. All keys are blocked from being interpreted by the browser this 
includes F-keys, tab, enter, etc... Just like an ncurses application using 
the form lib. you have to REQ_NEXT_FIELD to move the curser to the next 
field. Then at some point the page is posted back to the server where fcgi 
receives it and then you take this text buffer that contains all the 
information that was keyed in on the page and populate the form driver with 
the data and fall back into your normal processing of data that was 
supposedly captured by ncurses in your app..

The java folder has a folder named jscurses, this is what I tried to write to 
resemble the ncurses library. At best it loosly resembles the NC lib.  Then 
there is a folder named engine, this is what I wrote using the jscurses 
routines just as if I was writing a normal ncurses program. 

It is in beta testing now and running very nicely. I feel like it still has a 
long way to go, but all the real hard work has been done already. 

Let me know what you'll think.

Ricardo Cantu
Computer Services
3506 Buchanan St Suite C
Wichita Falls, TX 76308
(940) 696-3010

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