Future of the web happening now!

12.2.10

As it turns out, I am not the only one to notice (obviously) the apparent complexity of writing large-scale applications for the web today. Moreover I am also not the only one trying to do something about it. There are at least 3 different projects that I got aware of recently.

  1. The first is an eclipse project called Rich Ajax Platform (RAP) that was born out of RCP and uses the same model (OSGi etc.): http://eclipsesource.com/en/eclipse/eclipse-rap/. It can compile both a stand-alone desktop application as well as web-application that look similar from the same source. I think it looks promising and is a very good first step.
  2. Both the second and the third take a completely different approach in that the idea is to write everything in a functional language. I learned about Luna a couple of days ago, when I got a link on twitter about it: http://asana.com/luna. It has a C-style syntax but allows you to write everything in a monolithic way and pretend you have full access to say, the DB in a template. It supports JS-escaping similar to asm{} blocks in C, as well as XML and CSS as top-level constructs in the language syntax. I have to say that it looks very cool, and almost too easy to write a web-application that way (look at the example on their page, to see what I mean).
  3. The third is almost the same idea but from a research lab in the UK, started about 5 years ago, called links: http://groups.inf.ed.ac.uk/links/. I found that link in the comments on the luna blog 😉 The syntax is a little more functional but the underlying idea is the same, and has some of the same features, ie. XML top-level construct, monolithic single-sourcing etc. It is written on top of Caml.
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The next-generation Web or Web 4.0

23.8.09

Last night I was thinking about the future of the web (again) and what points I might have missed during my SOFEA series. In this post I am going to fill those gaps.

In the traditional client/server paradigm, the standard most of the time only defines a ‘protocol’ and how the software (both client and server) behaves externally, also called the side-effects, but not how it does it internally, or how to look while doing it. This applies to most if not all Internet standards so far, and for HTTP as well, though HTML does define the look of the static content (not of the browser).

The current browser model is almost 20 years old by now and based on the traditional client/server paradigm with only static content. This was fine and dandy back then since machines were not very powerful (even servers) and runtime compilation/interpretation wasn’t even invented yet, but after 20 years of Moore’s law today’s cell phones are more powerful than a room full of hardware in those days and I think it is time to rethink that model. Read the rest of this entry »