The Perl Oak Component tree is a implementation of a complete framework for designing enterprise applications.
The main areas of Oak are:
One great problem in web software development is to maintain the fields that are printed to the user and the receiving of this fields, because in many web development solitions this two items are not integrated. For example, if you use Text::Template to send to the user the web page, when you want to add a field to your form, you will have to add the HTML code in the template and add the code to receive the parameter in you perl code.
And even in big-business web development solutions like J2EE. You have to maintain the JSP file and the code that receives the field from the submission.
The hard work of both creating the HTML or JSP and the code for receiving the submission can take much time of development, specially because you can do many errors in this way, like mistyping the name of a form field in the HTML file. And this is a hard-to-track bug.
And this is the big change of approuch in Oak. A Web Page is defined in one XML file using the Oak Components, and from the XML file it automatically can show itself and receive the form submission and dispatch events. The events are functions of your code, so, when a submit button is clicked and it has an on click event associated, the event will be dispatched, and the properties of the components will represent the data filled by the user.
If you ever used Delphi or C++ Builder you will see that this approuch is very close to Borland's VCL.
To use Oak you have to do the following (considering you have the last version installed)
Forest is a Web-based Integrated Development Environment for Web applications. It's in the alpha stage, but you can use it to create your XML files already.
For now, it has three frames, the "Add Component" frame, which allows you to add a new component to your page, the "Object Inspector", which allows you to add/edit properties and delete components and the "Preview", which will show how your XML is looking.
To use the Forest you need to have apache installed and the last version of Oak and Oak-Web packages installed.
After that, you can download the forest package and untar it. You must then change the Makefile to install it in the directories you want, it is configured to install it under the main document root of the default debian installation of apache.
Access the forest.cgi script.