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Comments on customizing the grouper UI

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  • From: Joy Veronneau <>
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  • Cc: Joy Veronneau <>
  • Subject: Comments on customizing the grouper UI
  • Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 16:32:19 -0500


I promised some comments on my experience customizing the grouper UI for Cornell so here they are. I've attached an image of how the grouper help page looks with our customizations.

Our web group at Cornell provided me with style sheets and sample templates which were easily integrated following Gary's instructions. I haven't fine tuned things yet, there are a few things missing from our style sheets that I need to define - you will notice the font that "Login" is written with in the screen shot example is a little small, for example.

I used the Eclipse development environment (with which I was only somewhat familiar) with the myEclipse add-on and haven't had previous experience with struts and tiles, so I was no expert going in to this... which I think since I was able to get this far means that things are well organized and documented :)

I worked with the grouper-ui (0.6) version, as opposed to the grouper- qs version, building a war file and deploying under Tomcat 5.5.7.

I created a directory called "cornell" under the "webapp" directory and put all my style sheets and customizations there. I copied several grouper templates, such as "footer.jsp", "header.jsp", "template.jsp" to this directory and renamed them "cornellFooter.jsp" and so forth. Then I created an additional build file which is called from the main build file after you edit the file. I also created a tiles-def-cornell.xml file.

It seemed necessary to disable the grouper.css and signet.css styles in head.jsp (actually cornellHead.jsp) (not sure if that was the correct way to disable these stylesheets) because my templates didn't have some of the definitions for buttons and headers that those files do, and I was getting some blue tones mixed in with the red which was not pretty :) After commenting out those two style sheets, the page picked up the defaults for the headers and buttons which was a little prettier. I suppose the other option would be to redefine those items in my own style sheets.

Gary and I exchanged some email about some questions I had defining the tabs "My Memberships", "My Groups", etc across the top - he mentioned that he had some ideas for improving this in the next release.

One question is how easy it will be to port the customization from release to release. It seems that there are less than five files that need to be edited outside of the "cornell" directory (web.core.xml,, etc.) and then I will want to compare the jsp templates I have copied for Cornell with the new versions to check for any new functionality that I might want to incorporate. So I'm thinking it's not too much trouble. Any other comments/ideas on this?

Hopefully, this is the information you were looking for when you asked for my comments :) Feel free to write with questions etc.


JPEG image

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