Thursday, January 5, 2006

Qwicap Feature Summary

I've never succinctly described the features of the Qwicap web application API in one place. I'd assumed most of them would be obvious from reading the introductory documents, but that was probably a mistake on several levels. For one thing, without having been given a good reason to care, who's going to bother with the introductory documents? For another, my colleagues at UT Austin have been exposed to Qwicap for years, and I doubt that they're aware of a lot of these features. So here goes:

  • Pure Java
  • Open Source
  • Designed for Developers, Unapologetically
  • Discards the CGI Model
  • Very Rich State, Totally Automatic
  • Developer-Friendly APIs
  • Security: Automatically Prevents Replay Attacks
  • Security: Automatically Prevents Cross-Site Scripting Attacks
  • Markup Integrity: Completely Standards Compliant
  • Markup Integrity: Automatic HTML Encoding & Decoding
  • Markup Integrity: Automatic Integrity Checking
  • Automatic Input Verification, Error Messages and User Correction Requests
  • Transparent File Uploads
  • Transparent File Downloads
  • High-Level XHTML Form Manipulation API
  • Custom XML Engine - Fast and convenient, with thread-safe, fine-grained caching.
  • Zero JavaScript
  • No Metadata, No Configuration Files
  • Simplified Web Application Deployment
  • Not a Framework - It fits into your code, rather than vice versa.

For more details, start with the version of that list that includes explanatory text. If that doesn't frighten you off, there's plenty more reading material on the Qwicap site. If you have any questions, drop me a line.

And Now For Something Completely Different....

Those familiar with Christopher Alexander's work—most famously his book "A Pattern Language", which was frequently referenced by Richard P. Gabriel in his book "Patterns of Software"—may find interesting Alexander's response to criticism of his more recent work, "The Nature of Order, Book One". (Thanks to Carfree Times for the pointer.)

Oh, and a bit of computation and UT Austin history.... While going through the Austin History Center's archives a few weeks back, I came across the 1958 memo announcing the appointment of the first director of UT's Computation Center. (My first job with The University was in the Comp. Center, and I've never left.) One thing I found interesting about the memo is the reference to our big iron of the day, the IBM 650. (Thankfully, unlike most computer companies, IBM has not forgotten its old models.) Among other things, that beast could do 138,000 logical operations per minute. And you have to love that magnetic drum - echoes of Atanasoff & Berry. Also interesting is the fact that, 47 years later, Dr. Young is still at The University, in our Computer Science department.

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