UT Institute of Computer Science Graduation Theses Registry

Runtime UI Reloading for Java
Name Taivo Käsper
Abstract In order to test if an edit works as expected, developers have to go through many routine tasks. Depending on the application given it may span from multiple seconds to minutes per change. Developer tests a change on average three to four times per hour - it is obvious that the process is excessively time-consuming. To minimize the amount of time, dynamic class updating software, like JRebel, can be used. Sadly, up to the present moment, none of the available products support reloading the UI of a running desktop application. For that reason, the aim of this thesis is to bring out the possible approaches that would enable runtime UI reloading for Swing programs. Accordingly a plugin UiReload for JRebel is implemented which can detect what was changed and therefore apply the modifications to running UI components whilst losing none of the existing state. In order to reach the expected result some major challenges had to be overcome. For a start, it was necessary to determine what was changed and which objects were affected by those editions. Secondly, to make sure how to propagate those changes to a running application. Thirdly, to ascertain how to create new instances of components and finally, how to replace an old instance of a component with new, in a way that the fresh version maintains the state of the previous one. For finding the state an automatic approach was devised. As a result, with UiReload, developers can test the changes in milliseconds. This implies to the fact that there is no more need to restart the application, navigate to the changed view nor fill in forms on the way. Overall, testing changes reaches the maximum speed and simplicity.
Graduation Thesis language English
Graduation Thesis type Master - Computer Science
Supervisor(s) Allan Raundahl Gregersen, Luciano García-Bañuelos
Defence year 2015