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Browsing Web Services

Posted by daniel on September 29, 2003 at 10:52 AM PDT

A friend emailed that he had just seen the new front page and wondered when we changed it. His daily interaction with is through our RSS feed. This leads to wondering what might be the equivalent of an RSS newsreader that can be used to browse web services?

In Also in Java Today we link to the latest in Adam Bosworth's series on creating a Web Service Browser. In an earlier post he defined this a

a browser that can access information published as XML messages by services, let the user interact in a rich and graceful way with this information or these services, but can run well in terms of interaction whether the user is online or offline.

Bosworth considers three ways of turning information into UI and indicates a preference for the following method:

Build a picture of the desired layout and "bind" elements and properties within it to elements of data. This is the model that, for example, VB and Powerbuilder and Access use, and it is increasingly used in the JSP community by using expressions to bind to data. This essentially makes the layout a template. This model works really well with tools.

His next step is to decide where the rendering engine lives and how it talks to Web Services. He writes that with mobile computing your connection can be up and down so you can't do all of the rendering on the server. He ends up split between two options.

Have a cache that talks to web services or have a cache that talks to another cache. I'm seriously torn here and I suspect that, in the long run, both will be required. It is much easier and lighterweight to just have the cache on the client synchronize with a cache on the server. Then the only thing required for communication to the Internet from the PC/Device is some sort of souped up SynchML. This may not be intuitive to the reader. It stems from my assumption (perhaps incorrect) that we can package the page itself as XML so that any change to the page can itself be delivered into the cache using the same SynchML protocol. On the other hand, this still limits the freedom of the mobile client to integrate information across web services since someone has to write a server somewhere which runs this cache that synchronizes. But in either case, one ends up assuming that there is a each page really is a cache of information on the client associated with the page plus the specific XML for the page, but separate from it, that in the background it can synchronize with information on the Internet.

We also link to Joshua Marinacci's blog entry containing his latest Swing Hack . You are busy trying to debug a graphical application but can't really tell which piece of your gui comes from which class. Joshua uses a Swing component's glasspane to display the name of the class instantiated by the component.

Today in Projects and Communities, James Todd looks at what's coming up in the next release from the JXTA Community. In his blog entry, JXTA:03Q4 he links to the prime goals for the third quarter release and invites you to join in. The Education and Research community points you to tomorrow's Java Live Chat featuring John Zukowski answering basic questions about Java Technology Fundamentals.

Ken Arnold's Weblog entry Office design patterns highlights Joel Spolsky's Bionic Office post. Ken warns that "getting the one URL above ate up a few days of my time as I scrounged around his site, not always agreeing of course, but almost always interested, at least in a new way to say things I've been trying to say."

Simon Phipps weighs in on the recent discussion of the "Cyber Insecurity" report in Monoculture Considered Harmful. Simon writes that this isn't an issue of being for or against Microsoft and that the core issue is that a monoculture "provides a big, squishy target for the black hats no matter how hard anyone tries to fix the bugs, and no amount of safe behaviour by customers is going to fix it. It's the facts that need addressing. Either every country has to become a police state or we need diversity."

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