[Pipet Devel] Random design thoughts

Brad Chapman chapmanb at arches.uga.edu
Sat Apr 29 09:30:15 EDT 2000

Hello all! 
	I've been doing a lot of thinking about the design of
Loci/VSh/Piper, and especially about the ideas Jeff has had about
combining the middle (dl) and front (ui) back together. In thinking about
this, I was trying to kind of find some good models to look at the might
have also tried the approach of having the user interface separated from
the main functionality of the program through a communication layer. In
our case, we are currently using a streaming XML dialog to separate these
two layers. In my opinion, this approach is really cool because it
provides us the ability to have multiple user interfaces in any language
	So anyways, in my searching I started taking a look at the Berlin
project (http://www.berlin-consortium.org) and think its kind of
interesting that they use a similar separation of processing from user
interface. If you check out
they have a terse description of this separation. Although they use CORBA
(and not sockets like we have) the basic design seems to be the
same--looking at it from our perspective the front (ui) makes calls to the
middle (dl) to modify an xml description of the user interface, and then
return info back upon completion of the modification. I just thought this
might be good food for discussion, as it is kind of cool to me to see a
really similar model...
	Also, if anyone is interested, there is a redesigned dl (middle)
in cvs along with documentation (yay!) on the new structure of the code
and on the overall design plan for the dl in general. Comments are
more than welcome :-) The immediate plan for the middle (dl) is connection
with gms (the bl) so we'll see how that goes...
	Thanks for listening.


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