Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Alternatives for the ExtJS UI

I read Robert Warmack’s post Trends in Web Technologies – A Survey of Development Professionals. Yes that’s good work, and I especially like when he writes “One of the stand-out data points of this survey is that 79% of desktop apps are expected to be in use for three years or more” because it shows that Lino is in the right direction. But I am disappointed because I am waiting for other news. Lino’s first choice user interface is based on Sencha’s ExtJS. We continue to believe in this technology, and our Lino sites will continue to use it for the years to come. But we are increasingly worried because there are still no news about Sencha’s engagement for the free software community. Their continued ignoring us forces us to start looking for alternatives.

Yesterday en passant I introduced Hamza to the issues #278 (NPAPI plugins don’t work on Chrome version 42 and higher), #1377 (Use web-based protocol handlers) and #2089 (Use custom browser protocol instead of davlink). He asked “Is it possible that the problem doesn’t exist with Node.js?”.

Some week ago Eric recommended to rather look into “Materialize design toolkits and frameworks”. This morning I read a blog post about how to handle the Django CSRF token in React when using the Axios client.

So now I started #2260 (Materialize, Node.js and Angular). Maybe Tonis and I should investigate a bit more before continuing with #2245 (Diving into OpenUI5).

I sometimes feel like some part of a launch vehicle hoping to reach outer space and not knowing whether I’m in the payload or on a carrier rocket…

Sphinx 1.7 beta is out

Takeshi Komiya announced:

We just released 1.7.0b1. It includes much of improvements. And we believe it will help you.

In detail, please see CHANGES: https://github.com/sphinx-doc/sphinx/blob/1.7.0b1/CHANGES

Since this is a beta release, we expect that you may encounter bugs. If you find a bug, please report it on github issues: https://github.com/sphinx-doc/sphinx/issues

I tested it on my projects. Note that pip install -U sphinx didn’t install it, so I pulled the github repo and used pip install -e. (I didn’t know that I could have used pip’s –pre option: pip install --pre -U sphinx does the job as well. Thanks to Shirou for pointing it out.

It worked flawlessly, except for a problem when building The Lino Book:

SphinxWarning: /book/docs/specs/cal.rst:1010:duplicate object description of lino_xl.lib.cal.Plugin, other instance in /book/docs/api/lino_xl.lib.cal.rst, use :noindex: for one of them

No, I cannot “use :noindex: for one of them” because my document structure is based on the asumption that autodoc ignores members that have no docstring. For example the page which documents the lino_xl.lib.cal module is automatically generated, but it must not contain a definition for lino_xl.lib.cal.Plugin which has a prosa description in cal : Calendar functionality.

It took me some time to find the reason. I first searched for autodoc-process-docstring and autodoc_default_flags but could not find any explanation. I tried to add 'no-undoc-members', no change.

The explanation was that Sphinx didn’t consider the docstring as empty because it took the docstring of the parent class.

The “guilty” is therefore a new configuration setting autodoc_inherit_docstrings which default value is True. I fixed my problem by setting it to False.


I continued to work on final_report.body.html and checked in my current version. It’s already beautiful and promising, but tomorrow I will continue before showing it to Johanna.