This page last changed on Jun 19, 2009 by

This page has been migrated to the new GeoServer developer's guide.  The latest version can be found at .

This page explains the steps to follow in creating a page for the Wicket-based configuration interface in GeoServer 2.  For more information on Wicket, check out the project site at

Adding a Page

In Wicket, each page has one corresponding Java class.  To add a page, all you need to do is create a new class that extends org.geoserver.web.GeoServerBasePage.  You will also want to create a link somewhere that brings the user to your page.  (In general, Wicket pages do not have reliable URLs, so you must explicitly create a link in an existing page and let Wicket generate the proper URL.)  In the case where your class does not require arguments to its constructor, you can insert a link using Spring.  Creating links in spring requires that your page link text be internationalizable, more on i18n later.

The Java Code: (src/main/java/org/geoserver/web/example/

package org.geoserver.web.example;

import org.geoserver.web.GeoServerBasePage;

public class MyPage extends GeoServerBasePage{
    // We will fill in the rest later, for now the page can just be blank

The Spring Snippet: (src/main/java/applicationContext.xml)

<bean class="org.geoserver.web.MenuPageInfo" id="myPageLink">
    <property name="id" value="mypage"/>&nbsp; <\!-\- An internal identifier for the link component \-->
    <property name="titleKey" value=""/>&nbsp; <\!-\- The i18n key for the link title \-->
    <property name="descriptionKey" value=""/>&nbsp; <\!-\- The i18n key for a longer description of the page \-->
    <property name="componentClass" value="org.geoserver.web.example.MyPage"/>&nbsp; <\!-\- The fully qualified name of the page class \-->
    <property name="icon" value="imgs/some-image.png"/>&nbsp; <\!-\- Optional, an icon to display alongside the link. \-->
    <property name="category" ref="someCategory"/>&nbsp; <\!-\- Optional, the category in which the link should be grouped. \-->
    <property name="order" value="100"/>&nbsp; <\!-\- Optional, a key used to order the links in the menu. \-->

The i18n Settings: (src/main/java/ Example Page example page for developers trying to extend the GeoServer UI.

If you create a jar with these three files and add it to the GeoServer classpath, you should see the new link in the left-hand menu.

Adding to a Page

At this point you've added a page to the UI, but it's not very interesting. In Wicket, pages provide their content with an HTML file stored with the same name as the Java code except for the extension. There are a few details about these files that differ from standard HTML; for one thing they must be valid XML for Wicket's parser to work. In addition, Wicket uses a few "special" elements to specify where the Java code should hook into the HTML. The following are used quite extensively in the GeoServer administrative console.

Wicket Element Purpose
<foo wicket:id="bar"></foo>  A wicket:id attribute tells Wicket the name to be used for an element when attaching Wicket Components
<wicket:child/> Requires no contents, but specifies that classes extending this page can insert content at this position.
<wicket:extend></wicket:extend> Specifies that the enclosed content will be inserted into a parent page at the point indicated by <wicket:child/>
<wicket:panel></wicket:panel> Similar to wicket:extend, but used in creating custom components rather than extending pages.
<wicket:head></wicket:head> Indicates a section (like a CSS or JavaScript include) that should be added to the header of pages that include this markup (can be used for pages or panels).
<wicket:link></wicket:link> Encloses sections in which Wicket will rewrite links to pages, css files, and other resources that it manages.  (This lets you refer to resources using paths relative to the Java source and not the rendered HTML.)
<wicket:message key="i18nKey">Default Text</wicket:message> Tells Wicket to look up a string in the internationalization database and replace the provided text if one is found.

Wicket provides quite a few components, of which several can be seen in the Wicket Component Reference.  In general, Wicket components require a Model which handles the getting, setting, and conversion to/from String of the value associated with a component.  For the purposes of this example, we will focus on one of the simplest, the Label, which simply replaces the contents of the element it is bound to with a value provided at runtime.  Here, we pass a String to the Label's constructor and it is transparently converted to a Model.

The Java Code: (src/main/java/org/geoserver/web/example/

import org.apache.wicket.markup.html.basic.Label;
public MyPage(){
    add(new Label("label", "Hello World"));

The HTML Code: (src/main/java/org/geoserver/web/example/MyPage.html)

Greetings, GeoServer User! My message for you is <span wicket:id="label"> thanks for using GeoServer </span>.

Of course there are much more complicated (and useful) things we can do with Wicket, but this example demonstrates the most common usage; just adding some behavior to an HTML element.

Adding a Link Outside the Navigation Menu

Of course we can't have everything in the sidebar menu; for one thing, it defines only a static set of links while GeoServer is bound to contain lots of resources that vary from configuration to configuration, and some pages need to have arguments to their constructors.  If you want to add a custom link to some page, you can use a Wicket Link component and customize the onClick behavior to call the appropriate constructor.  (You can use setResponsePage() in other methods that handle user input as well, such as on form submits.  Check the Wicket documentation for more information.)

The Java Code: (src/main/java/org/geoserver/web/example/


    add(new Link("link"){
        public void onClick(){
            setResponsePage(new MyPage());

The HTML Code: (src/main/java/org/geoserver/web/example/MyPage.html)

Follow this lovely <a href="#" wicket:id="link">link</a>.

Making it Internationalizable

In the GeoServer UI, we use a customized resource lookup utility within Wicket to allow any module to provide resource strings.  All you need to do is include your i18n values in a Java Properties file named in the root of your src directory (ie, myProject/src/main/java/

The <wicket:message> element makes it quite easy to make text internationalizable, but in the event that you need to insert a value into a sentence at a position that changes dependent on the language, you'll need to use something more complicated.
In Wicket, i18n value strings can define parameters which provide the ability to place dynamic values into internationalized strings.
See for details.

Adding Resources

Often in HTML you will need to include assets such as CSS files, JavaScript libraries, or images to include in your page.  Wicket allows you to specify URLs to these relative to your Java source file, using relative paths enclosed in <wicket:link> tags.  Wicket will rewrite these links at runtime to use the correct path.  However, such resources are not inherited from parent classes, so if you need to include a resource in multiple packages you will need to extract the functionality that uses it to a new class that can be shared between the two.  See the XMLEditor component in the core module of GeoServer's UI for an example of a component that does this.

UI Design Guidelines


In forms, group each field as an item in an unordered list with a label and a form field.  For radio buttons and checkboxes, the label should come after the field; for all others the label should precede the field.  For example,

    <label for="foo"><wicket:message key="foo"> Foo </wicket:message>
    <input wicket:id="foo" type="text"></input>

Avoid requiring special knowledge from the user.

For example, where a list of values is required, provide a widget that allows manipulating the list one element at a time rather than expecting a comma-separated list of values.

Custom Components

We recommend creating a reusable wicket component for any complex values that might need to be edited by users, such as a bounding box or a list of free strings.  By extracting this into a component it is much simpler to provide consistent, rich editing for users.

Document generated by Confluence on May 14, 2014 23:00