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From Jason Foster <jafos...@uwaterloo.ca>
Subject Re: [RT] Flowmaps revisited
Date Sat, 13 Oct 2001 23:52:59 GMT
This is fun! :)

> Meanwhile, and just to add some FFT, I think that some previous study on
> finite state machines might help the discussion. I found really
> valuable, while oriented specifically to concurrency issue, the
> Magee&Kramer book (Concurrency. state models & Java programs) which uses
> heavily the FSP (Finite State Process) formalism together with the LTS
> (Labeled Transition System) modeling.

I was poking around Slashdot and noticed a thread on Lisp, which in turn
mentioned Haskell.  While I've never used either language extensively, it
looks to me like a functional approach to expressing a web page or
application may have merit.

Based on my very limited knowledge, instead of defining all states and
transitions explicitly, you specify individual dependencies and let an
inference engine take care of things.

This sounds neat as it allows SOC within the webapp definition.  Two groups
can work on different aspects of the webapp independently, and then the
system can integrate them once a single dependency is defined.  Of course
you could probably do this in a state machine as well...

The more I think about it, the more I think that there are two distinct
aspects to Cocoon.  The first is the underlying plumbing (Generators,
Transformers, Serializers), based exclusively on the decision to use a
cached SAX stream.  The second part is the mechanism that links the plumbing
together (Sitemap, Flowmap).

I'm about ready to propose that Cocoon should *not* impose any particular
way of connecting things, in the same way that we don't impose any
particular way of generating SAX events.  It would be really cool to allow
people to use State Machines, Inference Engines, JavaScript, Python, the
Sitemap, or any other thing they can dream up to connect the basic
components.  Sort of like "Avalon for XML"?

But that's another story ;) (1)

Jason Foster

(1) I always liked Hammy Hamster, for all you Canadians out there ;)


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