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Community Computer | skyAPI | skyCoding | skyWare Life Cycle

theSky is a "virtual platform" we at skyBuilders.com see emerging in 21st-century computing.

Unlike familiar platforms - computer hardware and an operating system - theSky is an artificial space created by the way we use today's nearly ubiquitous Internet connectivity between computers. This space is built on top of standard Internet, World Wide Web, and database protocols like TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML/XML, ODBC, and SQL. skyBuilders applications, including timeLines, run in this shared space, on most any browser and web server, and on all major relational database systems.

"If it's not on the web, it doesn't exist," Tim Berners-Lee.

Most of the world's information is being put on the Web somewhere. This suggests a new model of computing in the post-PC age. A PC (or Mac or Linux box) with a browser becomes an intelligent terminal running client software, with another PC as a web server that belongs to an organization or community. On or near the web server is a master database server and file server that is the shared space of a "CC" or "community computer." The community may be anything from an association of individuals with a common interest to a corporation, for profit or non-profit. All the organization's information goes in this community computer, where it is accessible, with permissions, from any browser in the world.

theSky community computer is a three-tier virtual platform consisting of

skyBuilders.com is writing a skyAPI (applications programming interface) for developers who want to write programs to run in theSky virtual platform. It defines the characteristics needed in a serverPage to cleanly move data structures and client-side code to the browser, and needed to allow automatic code conversion between web application server languages.

We are also writing a white paper on the life cycle of skyWare and programming practices appropriate for theSky. The skyWare life cycle is based on an IEEE software life cycle model (SLCM). Our programming practices incorporate extreme pair programming (XPP) and open-source licensing for code development at Internet speed.

skyBuilders.com open-source client-side webWare is HTML and Javascript (the engine behind Dynamic HTML), with some Java. Our skyBrowser code runs in invisible builderPages that build the builtPages of the human interface.

skyBuilders webWare depends on the power of client-side languages like Javascript. In the past, Javascript was prone to browser errors, and novice programmers could crash the browsers and even freeze the user's system software. Experienced programmers can eliminate these errors in modern browsers (Netscape Navigator 4 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and above). JavaScript is a slow, interpreted language, but it has all the capabilities of any good programming language. skyBuilders believes that the great speed of modern PCs more than make up for the slowness of JavaScript, which is an excellent language for the human interface.

skyBuilders serverPages are web application software or middleware. They are also open source and available in the major languages of popular web application servers like Microsoft IIS, Netscape Enterprise, and Apache, including Java, Javascript, Perl, PHP, and VBScript. The challenge is to build a new user interface and a number of community applications providing a wide variety of services that access an organization's database securely, and with personalized permissions.

Our skyWare also relies on the great power of today's relational database management systems (RDBMS). A proposed industry-standard open database model (ODBM) gives small enterprises the benefit of clean logical data models that big companies have paid millions of dollars for.

Our open standard data model includes robust and flexible user profiles, with multiple permission levels keyed to the individual application modules. For more information on ODBM go to www.opendatabasemodel.com.

skyBuilders has designed a calendar-driven user interface ("timeLines") that standardizes navigation tools across a wide range of web applications. A unique strength of timeLines is to facilitate navigation of databased information in the time dimension, allowing an organization to see its data "as of" another date, in the past or the future.

Our initial web applications (modules) will be

Future timeLines applications include


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Author: bobdoyle

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