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From "Scott Chapman" <>
Subject Re: [Maybe OT] Modular design - calling pages like a subroutine with a twist.
Date Thu, 15 Nov 2001 21:06:20 GMT

On 15 Nov 2001, at 15:33, Perrin Harkins wrote:

> The original e-mail was confusing, but I think what he's after is not so
> much the ability to call pages as subs but rather the ability to abstract
> away the fact that a sub might actually involve multiple user interactions
> (present a form, get a response, present another form, etc.) with breaks in
> actual execution.  In other words, he wants to think of program execution in
> terms of a linear user session (as you would with a GUI app) rather than a
> series of separate requests.

I'm sorry the original email was confusing. You've stated it exactly 
right.  I want an abstraction layer here so that web pages work like 
calling a subroutine in a regular programming language works.
> In my opinion, trying to abstract that stuff away in a web application
> causes to more problems than it solves, especially where back buttons and
> bookmarks are concerned.  I think it's easier to take a state machine
> approach, the way CGI::MxScreen or Apache::PageKit do.  (CGI::Application
> sort of does, but it doesn't capture the relationships of states to each
> other.)  With Apache::ASP, I think people would generally embed the state
> transition logic in the pages, although this could probably be separated out
> if you were careful about it.

Back buttons and bookmarks already cause plenty of problems, 
not really having to do with this abstraction layer idea.  The people 
who do the work with an abstraction layer will have to keep 
bookmarks and back buttons in mind just like you have to today.  It 
would be worth it to have the abstraction layer in my opinion.  I'd 
love to be able to deal with these problems!

> - Perrin

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