Tuesday, May 1, 2007

browser=3270, Ajax=lipstick on a pig

Dave Thomas has an interesting post with lots of great comments/dialogue on REST, CRUD and how it can be improved. The article is titled "RADAR Architecture: RESTful Application, Dumb-Ass Recipient".

Most of the article is in relation to increasing the usefulness and seperation of a presentation layer so the browser side can be a lot more intelligent. He proposes some server side proxy elements and HTTP rejigs etc..

To me (as some of the other guys point out) its partly overkill and XML/XSLT looks like an 'easier' answer but maybe HTML 5 and Xforms (or whatever variation comes out from W3c - whenever!) will help.

He has some great comments ...
Because HTTP is stateless, and because applications talk to browsers using a fire-and-forget model, your servers and networks can handle very large numbers of devices. This is exactly the architecture that IBM championed back in the 70s. The half-duplex, poll-select nature of 3270-based applications allowed mainframes with less processing power than a modern toaster to handle tens of thousands of simultaneous users. The browser is really not much better than a 3270 (except the resolution is better when displaying porn). (Recently, folks have been trying to circumvent this simplicity by making browser-based applications more interactive using technologies such as Ajax. To my mind, this is just a stop-gap until we throw the browser away altogether—Ajax is just lipstick on a pig.)


As I've indicate on my initial profile page, HTTP is a lot like the old 3270 green screens that IBM used and the protocols that ran underneath (BMS maps into a CICS transaction).
Somehow when u compare 'web' applications to that scenario it doesn't look as if it (foundations) hasn't moved on very far. Oh sure we have SOA, Web services, Atom, RSS, video streaming, podcasting and all these wonderful 'applications' on top of a very client-server layer.

Lal

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2 Comments:

At November 6, 2007 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Leonard said...

Brendan, good to meet you at the impronto Cork Coffee Club morning. Good discussion on state assistance to start up companies in Ireland. Hope to hear from you soon in relation to maximising trafic on our web site www.comhar.com which is a web portal for connecting customers to IT providers.
Rgds,
Leonard.

 
At November 12, 2007 at 4:46 AM , Anonymous zuzi said...

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