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   Re: [xml-dev] ANN: new markup language for user interfaces

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on 1/30/02 11:19 AM, Ramin Firoozye at ramin@wizen.com wrote:

> Thank you Mike. I was having the same thoughts. The XALT idea is
> technologically interesting. I'm trying hard to visualize some use-cases...

A simple example is to dynamically discover web services (perhaps choose
among alternate serices) and integrate them into larger composite
applications (rather than delivering freeze-dried applications).

The general philosophy is exemplified in
http://www.enode.com/xalt/markup/tutorial/composition.html and

> I can imagine uses in applications where *really* dynamic interface layouts
> are needed...

While this is certainly a legitimate use, philosophically Xalt goes beyond
just layout and views.

Again, consider the case of presenting a specific type of web service to a
user. You may have the same layout, but different controller classes that
you could swap in/out based on customer-specific criteria (price, quality of
service, and so on).

> Some other uses might be to map the XALT language into a general purpose UI
> like HTML or WML (but then you start suffering from LCD issues)...

This one specifically goes against the grain of Xalt. We humbly submit that
while HTML is an otherwise fine language, it is not really appropriate for
many kinds of UI needs.
> The way they have it now, tied into Swing and requiring the 'sandbox' etc,
> I'm having trouble seeing the uses.

There is a lot of information on our web site, so it is easy to get
overwhelmed at first.

First, "tied into swing": The reason we chose Swing is because we believe
that it is the most comprehensive library of its kind, very well-designed,
and most importantly, it runs across platforms.

Second, "requiring the 'sandbox'": We could have just published the specs of
the markup language, but decided to ship the sandbox so that you could see
for yourself how the language works.

Third, we are trying to set peoples' expections right, up front. Sandbox is
just a tool to evaluate the language -- nothing more. For real applications,
you will need Xalt Object Realizer.

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Mike Champion [mailto:mc@xegesis.org]
>> This is interesting, but I'm not quite sure what to make of it. "A
>> declarative XML-based language for developing Java applications" is a
>> capsule description that seems to cover it.

It is not a language for developing Java applications. For that, one would
use Java :-)

It is a language for describing user interfaces and related collections of

>> And how
>> do you expect developers to distribute their infastructure for their
>> XALT applications if thay don't run in the browser?

The Java Web Start web site does an excellent job of describing this:


Ramesh Gupta


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