GWT - UiBinder


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Introduction

The UiBinder is a framework designed to separate Functionality and View of User Interface.

  • The UiBinder framework allows developers to build gwt applications as HTML pages with GWT widgets configured throughout them.

  • The UiBinder framework makes easier collaboration with UI designers who are more comfortable with XML, HTML and CSS than Java source code

  • The UIBinder provides a declarative way of defining User Interface.

  • The UIBinder seperates the programmic logic from UI.

  • The UIBinder is similar to what JSP is to Servlets.

UiBinder Workflow

Step 1: Create UI Declaration XML File

Create a XML/HTML based User Interface declaration file. We've created a Login.ui.xml file in our example.

<ui:UiBinder xmlns:ui = 'urn:ui:com.google.gwt.uibinder'
   xmlns:gwt = 'urn:import:com.google.gwt.user.client.ui' 
   xmlns:res = 'urn:with:com.tutorialspoint.client.LoginResources'>
   <ui:with type = "com.tutorialspoint.client.LoginResources" field = "res">
   </ui:with>
   <gwt:HTMLPanel>
   ...  
   </gwt:HTMLPanel>
</ui:UiBinder> 

Step 2: Use ui:field for Later Binding

Use ui:field attribute in XML/HTML element to relate UI field in XML with UI field in JAVA file for later binding.

<gwt:Label ui:field = "completionLabel1" />
<gwt:Label ui:field = "completionLabel2" />       

Step 3: Create Java counterpart of UI XML

Create Java based counterpart of XML based layout by extending Composite widget. We've created a Login.java file in our example.

package com.tutorialspoint.client;
   ...
public class Login extends Composite {
   ...
}

Step 4: Bind Java UI fields with UiField annotation

use @UiField annotation in Login.java to designate counterpart class members to bind to XML-based fields in Login.ui.xml

public class Login extends Composite {
   ...
   @UiField
   Label completionLabel1;

   @UiField
   Label completionLabel2;  
   ...
}

Step 5 : Bind Java UI with UI XML with UiTemplate annotation

Instruct GWT to bind java based component Login.java and XML based layout Login.ui.xml using @UiTemplate annotation

public class Login extends Composite {

   private static LoginUiBinder uiBinder = GWT.create(LoginUiBinder.class);

   /*
    * @UiTemplate is not mandatory but allows multiple XML templates
    * to be used for the same widget. 
    * Default file loaded will be <class-name>.ui.xml
    */
   
   @UiTemplate("Login.ui.xml")
   interface LoginUiBinder extends UiBinder<Widget, Login> {
   }
   ...
}

Step 6: Create CSS File

Create an external CSS fileLogin.css and Java based Resource LoginResources.java file equivalent to css styles

.blackText {
   font-family: Arial, Sans-serif;
   color: #000000;
   font-size: 11px;
   text-align: left;
}
...

Step 7: Create Java based Resource File for CSS File

package com.tutorialspoint.client;
...
public interface LoginResources extends ClientBundle {
   public interface MyCss extends CssResource {
      String blackText();

      ...
   }

   @Source("Login.css")
   MyCss style();
}

Step 8: Attach CSS resource in Java UI Code file.

Attach an external CSS fileLogin.css using Contructor of Java based widget class Login.java

public Login() {
   this.res = GWT.create(LoginResources.class);
   res.style().ensureInjected();
   initWidget(uiBinder.createAndBindUi(this));
}

UIBinder Complete Example

This example will take you through simple steps to show usage of a UIBinder in GWT. Follow the following steps to update the GWT application we created in GWT - Create Application chapter −

Step Description
1 Create a project with a name HelloWorld under a package com.tutorialspoint as explained in the GWT - Create Application chapter.
2 Modify HelloWorld.gwt.xml, HelloWorld.css, HelloWorld.html and HelloWorld.java as explained below. Keep rest of the files unchanged.
3 Compile and run the application to verify the result of the implemented logic.

Following is the content of the modified module descriptor src/com.tutorialspoint/HelloWorld.gwt.xml.

<?xml version = "1.0" encoding = "UTF-8"?>
<module rename-to = 'helloworld'>
   <!-- Inherit the core Web Toolkit stuff.                        -->
   <inherits name = 'com.google.gwt.user.User'/>

   <!-- Inherit the default GWT style sheet.                       -->
   <inherits name = 'com.google.gwt.user.theme.clean.Clean'/>
   <!-- Inherit the UiBinder module.                               -->
   <inherits name = "com.google.gwt.uibinder.UiBinder"/>
   <!-- Specify the app entry point class.                         -->
   <entry-point class = 'com.tutorialspoint.client.HelloWorld'/>
  
   <!-- Specify the paths for translatable code                    -->
   <source path ='client'/>
   <source path = 'shared'/>

</module>

Following is the content of the modified Style Sheet file war/HelloWorld.css.

body {
   text-align: center;
   font-family: verdana, sans-serif;
}

h1 {
   font-size: 2em;
   font-weight: bold;
   color: #777777;
   margin: 40px 0px 70px;
   text-align: center;
}

Following is the content of the modified HTML host file war/HelloWorld.html.

<html>
   <head>
      <title>Hello World</title>
      <link rel = "stylesheet" href = "HelloWorld.css"/>
      <script language = "javascript" src = "helloworld/helloworld.nocache.js">
      </script>
   </head>

   <body>
      <h1>UiBinder Demonstration</h1>
      <div id = "gwtContainer"></div>
   </body>
</html>

Now create a new UiBinder template and owner class (File → New → UiBinder).

GWT UiBinder Wizard Step 1

Choose the client package for the project and then name it Login. Leave all of the other defaults. Click Finish button and the plugin will create a new UiBinder template and owner class.

GWT UiBinder Wizard Step 2

Now create Login.css file in the src/com.tutorialspoint/client package and place the following contents in it

.blackText {
   font-family: Arial, Sans-serif;
   color: #000000;
   font-size: 11px;
   text-align: left;
}

.redText {
   font-family: Arial, Sans-serif;
   color: #ff0000;
   font-size: 11px;
   text-align: left;
}

.loginButton {
   border: 1px solid #3399DD;
   color: #FFFFFF;
   background: #555555;
   font-size: 11px;
   font-weight: bold;
   margin: 0 5px 0 0;
   padding: 4px 10px 5px;
   text-shadow: 0 -1px 0 #3399DD;
}

.box {
   border: 1px solid #AACCEE;
   display: block;
   font-size: 12px;
   margin: 0 0 5px;
   padding: 3px;
   width: 203px;
}

.background {
   background-color: #999999;
   border: 1px none transparent;
   color: #000000;
   font-size: 11px;
   margin-left: -8px;
   margin-top: 5px;
   padding: 6px;
}

Now create LoginResources.java file in the src/com.tutorialspoint/client package and place the following contents in it

package com.tutorialspoint.client;

import com.google.gwt.resources.client.ClientBundle;
import com.google.gwt.resources.client.CssResource;

public interface LoginResources extends ClientBundle {
   /**
    * Sample CssResource.
    */
   public interface MyCss extends CssResource {
      String blackText();

      String redText();

      String loginButton();

      String box();

      String background();
   }

   @Source("Login.css")
   MyCss style();
}

Replace the contents of Login.ui.xml in src/com.tutorialspoint/client package with the following

<ui:UiBinder xmlns:ui = 'urn:ui:com.google.gwt.uibinder'
   xmlns:gwt = 'urn:import:com.google.gwt.user.client.ui' 
   xmlns:res = 'urn:with:com.tutorialspoint.client.LoginResources'>
   
   <ui:with type = "com.tutorialspoint.client.LoginResources" field = "res">
   </ui:with>
   
   <gwt:HTMLPanel>
      <div align = "center">
         
         <gwt:VerticalPanel res:styleName = "style.background">
            <gwt:Label text = "Login" res:styleName = "style.blackText" />
            <gwt:TextBox ui:field="loginBox" res:styleName = "style.box" />
            <gwt:Label text = "Password" res:styleName = "style.blackText" />
            <gwt:PasswordTextBox ui:field = "passwordBox" res:styleName = "style.box" />
            
            <gwt:HorizontalPanel verticalAlignment = "middle">
               <gwt:Button ui:field = "buttonSubmit" text="Submit"
                  res:styleName = "style.loginButton" />
               <gwt:CheckBox ui:field = "myCheckBox" />
               <gwt:Label ui:field = "myLabel" text = "Remember me"
                  res:styleName = "style.blackText" />
            </gwt:HorizontalPanel>
            
            <gwt:Label ui:field = "completionLabel1" res:styleName = "style.blackText" />
            <gwt:Label ui:field = "completionLabel2" res:styleName = "style.blackText" />
         </gwt:VerticalPanel>
         
      </div>
   </gwt:HTMLPanel>
   
</ui:UiBinder> 

Replace the contents of Login.java in src/com.tutorialspoint/client package with the following

package com.tutorialspoint.client;

import com.google.gwt.core.client.GWT;
import com.google.gwt.event.dom.client.ClickEvent;
import com.google.gwt.event.logical.shared.ValueChangeEvent;
import com.google.gwt.uibinder.client.UiBinder;
import com.google.gwt.uibinder.client.UiField;
import com.google.gwt.uibinder.client.UiHandler;
import com.google.gwt.uibinder.client.UiTemplate;
import com.google.gwt.user.client.Window;
import com.google.gwt.user.client.ui.Composite;
import com.google.gwt.user.client.ui.Label;
import com.google.gwt.user.client.ui.TextBox;
import com.google.gwt.user.client.ui.Widget;

public class Login extends Composite {

   private static LoginUiBinder uiBinder = GWT.create(LoginUiBinder.class);

   /*
    * @UiTemplate is not mandatory but allows multiple XML templates
    * to be used for the same widget. 
    * Default file loaded will be <class-name>.ui.xml
    */
   @UiTemplate("Login.ui.xml")
   interface LoginUiBinder extends UiBinder<Widget, Login> {
   }

   @UiField(provided = true)
   final LoginResources res;

   public Login() {
      this.res = GWT.create(LoginResources.class);
      res.style().ensureInjected();
      initWidget(uiBinder.createAndBindUi(this));
   }

   @UiField
   TextBox loginBox;

   @UiField
   TextBox passwordBox;

   @UiField
   Label completionLabel1;

   @UiField
   Label completionLabel2;

   private Boolean tooShort = false;

   /*
    * Method name is not relevant, the binding is done according to the class
    * of the parameter.
    */
   @UiHandler("buttonSubmit")
   void doClickSubmit(ClickEvent event) {
      if (tooShort) {
         Window.alert("Login Successful!");
      } else {
         Window.alert("Login or Password is too short!");
      }
   }

   @UiHandler("loginBox")
   void handleLoginChange(ValueChangeEvent<String> event) {
      if (event.getValue().length() < 6) {
         completionLabel1.setText("Login too short (Size must be > 6)");
         tooShort = true;
      } else {
         tooShort = false;
         completionLabel1.setText("");
      }
   }

   @UiHandler("passwordBox")
   void handlePasswordChange(ValueChangeEvent<String> event) {
      if (event.getValue().length() < 6) {
         tooShort = true;
         completionLabel2.setText("Password too short (Size must be > 6)");
      } else {
         tooShort = false;
         completionLabel2.setText("");
      }
   }
}

Let us have following content of Java file src/com.tutorialspoint/HelloWorld.java which will demonstrate use of UiBinder.

package com.tutorialspoint.client;

import com.google.gwt.core.client.EntryPoint;
import com.google.gwt.user.client.ui.RootPanel;

public class HelloWorld implements EntryPoint {
   public void onModuleLoad() {
      RootPanel.get().add(new Login());   
   }    
} 

Once you are ready with all the changes done, let us compile and run the application in development mode as we did in GWT - Create Application chapter. If everything is fine with your application, this will produce following result −

GWT UiBinder Demo

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