With Filip we have submitted a proposal for a research grant. We want to look at new ways of designing the web apps server side. Here is the abstract.
Businesses need making the web applications development faster and cheaper. There are many RAD tools focusing on fast UI development, but much less attention is paid to the back end. Our target is to develop new RAD tools for easy API authoring. The usage of the web object oriented architectures, e.g. CORBA, DCOM, SOAP (SOA) is decreasing because of quite large code complexity. Instead, internet developers are preferring the principles of REST, described by R.T.Fielding. His RESTFul approach is based on information representations, resources, composite resources etc. We use REST APIs for our applications for quite some time and we noticed things are repenting. Filip than came with this idea: a simple declarative Domain Specific Language (DSL) is enough to define information representation and resources. This sounds great because it simplifies a lot the whole design. In addition, choosing declarative approach has much deeper theoretical implications. The web server design is for us no longer object oriented. We are dropping the current procedural programming paradigm. In our further research we are taking the Resource Oriented Programming (ROP).
At the moment we are building test applications to prove our assumptions and see what are the problems. What functionality is the most frequently required for building web business applications? What is the best information representation? How to generate and describe effective APIs? How to reuse existing web services? How to derive composite resources? How much more easier is a graphical interface? Many things can be tested and we are eager to play with these ideas and see how far we can push it.
I will report about the progress.