Duncan Cragg on Declarative Architectures
About All Things...
...taking programming beyond:
Threads, Message Queues, Client-Server, CORBA, Web Services, SOAs, Agents, Synchronous Architectures, Imperative Programming - and even Applications, Desktops and Documents
Duncan Cragg...
...works for ThoughtWorks UK; originally from April 2002 to July 2007 and now recently re-joined. Previously worked as a Web Architect for the Financial Times.
...went to both UCL and Imperial College of the University of London (in the Eighties); specialising in Logic during his MSc.
...wonders when his LinkedIn Account will be useful
...has a phone-cam, and used it on himself once, just before his weekly shave:
Photo of Duncan Cragg
...can be contacted by and followed on Twitter.
Posts tagged 'web2.0' Atom Feed for Posts tagged 'web2.0'
The Basics | The Object Network
January 20, 2012 18:07
Updated: January 23, 2012 19:45

Right, let's get started with some basic conventions in the Object Network!

This part in the Object Network series will cover URLs, HTTP headers and some common JSON patterns.

Updated 23/1/12: I changed the URLs in the example to have one of each type.   ...

Why we should link up our Web APIs | The Object Network
January 19, 2012 20:58
Updated: January 22, 2012 16:05

OK, I'm trying to take a Big Idea and make it as Simple As Possible to grasp.

If we link our JSON data together and use the same formats, then our mobile, browser and server apps can become much simpler - through clean, stable, common, shared, re-used code - and much more powerful - through clean, stable, common, shared, linked, cached data.

This is the second part in the Object Network series, which will guide you away from building isolated Web APIs to engaging in a linked-up data landscape.   ...

Introduction | The Object Network
November 29, 2011 23:11
Updated: January 22, 2012 16:03

It's interesting to compare the current growth of Web APIs with the early growth of the Web itself. To save you jumping those links: the Web dramatically beats the APIs.

I believe that the most likely cause of such relatively slow growth (in what should be a booming ecosystem) is that each API forms a closed silo and cannot benefit from any network effects. Every API is different and there are no links between them. There usually aren't any links within a silo. You can't even use a given API without first consulting the documentation.

The Object Network is designed to fix this, with linked-up JSON in common formats. This will allow easier mashing, sharing and cacheing of data and allow client code to be shared and reused.   ...

Mobile Widgets aren't the Mobile Web
February 11, 2009 16:20

Mobile Monday London met last night to discuss the Mobile Web and Widgets. It was an engaging and thought-provoking evening.

Your intrepid reporter was there and, in spite of the crashing of his sad, clunky old Windows Mobile Xperia X1, losing all his notes, he brings you this hot report from right out of his memory (somewhat steamed up by subsequent socialising, but reclarified by Google).

After that, I give an explanation of why I believe that Widgets are not the solution to what Mobile 2.0 needs...   ...

The Mobile 2.0 Killer App is the App Killer
December 19, 2008 17:05

Mobiles are unique - if you want to miss out on the opportunity they represent, you could choose to see them as just slow computers with tiny interfaces and dodgy Internet connections. Then try to squeeze in your traditional applications; try squeezing the office desktop metaphor with its sedentary documents into a device the size of a mouse!

Alternatively, see them as the most personal, social and dynamic of devices that are becoming connected to the Internet. Now a multi-billion-scale global opportunity opens up to you. That's customers and dollars! In trying to grasp this, some are calling it 'Mobile 2.0', by analogy with its sibling, Web 2.0.

In that light, the Killer App for Mobile 2.0 is the sharer, masher and updater of People, Things, Times and Places... The key to getting Mobile 2.0 right is for it to merge seamlessly into our lives. That means the handling of dynamic and shared data becomes the top priority, even above the handling of applications.

This article describes a Mobile 2.0 platform that makes people and their stuff first class - not applications.   ...

Google Micro Conference
October 5, 2007 11:22

Last night's Google London Open Source Jam (also here) was on the subject of the 'Web' (didn't they invent that? Oh no, that was Microsoft).

This event has been getting better and better each time I've attended. There were some very interesting lightning talks held together with a tight structure and plenty of chance to chat, drink cold Leffe and eat cold pizza. And nick [transatlantic translation: 'steal'] the Green & Black's chocolate.

An ideal Micro Conference...   ...

How Ruby can enable the Web 2.0 Platform
June 26, 2007 15:17

Web 2.0's definition includes seeing the Web as an application platform. Which means it is in competition with Java and .Net, and with SOA, for both local and widely distributed applications.

If the Web is going to be a platform, the skills you need to learn to program it are the core Web 2.0 technologies such as Ajax, JSON, Atom, Microformats and OpenID.

And Ruby. This language, that's capturing the hearts of many Web 2.0 programmers, is ideal for easing the transition from the Java and .Net platforms to the Web platform, as I will show.

Even if you're part of a big company that is generally immune to the latest trends, the marriage of Ruby and the Web-as-platform may be something to prepare for. It could even displace your SOA agenda...   ...

Lighter-than Wins in 2007
January 18, 2007 11:12

What do all the MAJOR Web 2.0 technologies of 2007 have in common?

Let me list them first:

    M.icroformats (including tags)
    A.jax (including Comet)
    J.SON (plus YAML)
    O.penID (plus SXIP, LID, Yadis)
    R.EST (including Atom, APP)

What these technologies have in common is that they're all lighter than their competitors:


Lighter than the Semantic Web


Lighter than Fat Client (!)


Lighter than XML


Lighter than SAML/Liberty Alliance


Lighter than SOA


Setting Data | The REST Dialogues
November 15, 2006 23:37

In an exclusive nine-part dialogue with an imaginary eBay Architect, we present an accessible discussion of the REST vs. SOA issue.

Although eBay have what they call a 'REST' interface, it is, in fact, a STREST interface, and only works for one of the many function calls that they make available via SOAP (GetSearchResults).

In this dialogue series, I argue the case for eBay to adopt a truly REST approach to their integration API.

Part 2: Setting Data   ...

Getting Data | The REST Dialogues
November 14, 2006 00:05

In an exclusive nine-part dialogue with an imaginary eBay Architect, we present an accessible discussion of the REST vs. SOA issue.

Although eBay have what they call a 'REST' interface, it is, in fact, a STREST interface, and only works for one of the many function calls that they make available via SOAP (GetSearchResults).

In this dialogue series, I argue the case for eBay to adopt a truly REST approach to their integration API.

Part 1: Getting Data   ...

The Right Way to do Ajax is Declaratively
July 13, 2006 14:33

Don't write your interactive Web application in custom Javascript! The Web's Declarative nature needn't be broken just because you want two-way dynamic data instead of one-way documents on your site.

Instead, write Declaratively to generic Javascripts, plugins and browser features such as Hijax, hInclude, XForms, SVG, XBL, etc.   ...

Web 2.0 and our Digital Rights
June 23, 2006 17:58

Open Data .. has .. recently .. been.. all .. over .. the .. blog .. o .. sphere!

Openness is a classic Us-and-Them issue. Big, nasty Apple/MySpace/Flickr is trying to control what little me/SingleStatus/Zoomr can do with my/our own stuff.

Open Data vs. Closed; Open Source vs. Proprietary; P2P vs. DRM; privacy vs. surveillance. The battles between the freedom of the pioneer, the individual and the minority against the rules and stability of the establishment and the majority form the endless shape of human history.

Us beating Them is Hollywood's favourite subject on-screen - and ironically Them fighting Us Hollywood's favourite battle off-screen.

As an Us-and-Them issue, with Us less powerful than Them, it's also tempting to give up and to follow the crowd - to do what we're told, to not ask for or sieze the privacy and open data we feel entitled to.

However, at XTech 2006 recently, there was a set of talks on the subject with a more positive approach.   ...

The 2006 'What Now How' Awards for REST Protocols
June 15, 2006 00:30

It gives me great pleasure to announce the 2006 'What Now How' Awards for REST Protocols (or 'APIs') in the Read/Write Category.

All this year's awardees share the distinction of being truly worthy of the 'REST' label; these Read/Write Protocols are acknowledged here for their uncompromising adherence to the simple principles of the World Wide Web.   ...

Microformats Challenge Web Feeds and Web APIs!
June 7, 2006 19:10

Microformats are subversive: they not only challenge the approach of full-blown Semantic Web approaches, but even question fundamental Web 2.0 building blocks such as Web Feeds and Web APIs.

I recently attended XTech 2006, where there were a few talks related to Microformats.

After summarising these talks, I'll finish with my shocking revelations about the subversive nature of Microformats!   ...

STREST (Service-Trampled REST) Will Break Web 2.0
May 25, 2006 19:05

The vast majority of supposedly 'REST' Web APIs are simply abusing HTTP to carry function calls. I call these APIs 'Service-Trampled REST', or STREST.

STREST APIs come with specific costs which could stifle the two-way data Web (Web2.0) if allowed to propagate unchecked. Although 'mashability' is a supposed benefit of the current proliferation of APIs, true interoperability and scalability can only be guaranteed by true REST interaction.

This is not an academic, purist or aesthetic stance, but one based on practical consequences, as I will explain.   ...

Excuse me - did you say 'Web' Services?
May 17, 2006 00:27

Distributing an application over a network isn't just a case of splitting it down a natural line and putting a network in-between. What works in-process simply doesn't work so well across the wire.

And just calling such an Internet version of application and process interfaces 'Web' Services doesn't mean it has anything at all to do with the Web, or that it in any way shares the Web's scalability, flexibility and robustness.

Indeed, I claim that you cannot distribute without also 'inverting'; you have to face what I call the 'Imperative-to-Declarative Inversion', if you really want a successful, scalable, distributed application.

Declarative Architectures such as REST (i.e. the Web, and now 'Web 2.0') dominate the broader Internet.   ...

Welcome to 'What Not How'
March 22, 2006 17:00

Declarative Architectures focus on the What, not the How, of programming. The How has dominated the field - perhaps 80% of programming is done in the traditional Imperative style, where we tell the computer How to do a task in explicit steps.

I'd like to show in this blog how Declarative Architectures and technologies are not just an interesting sideshow to the main Imperative attraction, but a complete and powerful programming alternative in their own right - indeed, one which has already dominated certain fields.

Imagine being able to simply express What we want the computer to do - to give it constraints and rules - then let it work out for itself How to achieve our goals.

I believe that saying What, not How, will become the dominant paradigm in programming.   ...

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