W3C Note: Rich Web Application Backplane

14 Feb 2008

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The Rich Web Application Backplane document is a W3C note, published in July 2006, which looks at the need to provide a common architecture for use across voice, web browsers, widget frameworks, and so on.

The note was largely pulled together by Charlie Wiecha from IBM, who is a member of the W3C's XForms Working Group. Parts of the document were contributed by:

  • Mark Birbeck, Invited Expert on the W3C's XForms Working Group and XHTML 2 Working Group;
  • John Boyer, co-chair of the W3C XForms Working Group;
  • Steven Pemberton, co-chair of the W3C XForms Working Group, and chair of the W3C HTML Working Group;
  • Kevin Kelly, chair of the W3C Compound Document Working Group;
  • Al Gilman, chair of the W3C Protocols and Formats Working Group. From the introduction:

Web 2.0 combines a desire for increasing interactivity and responsiveness in Web applications, together with a desire to drive an exponentially growing source of applications through component-based (e.g. 'mash-up') rather than monolithic design methods. Interactivity and responsiveness result largely from asynchronous programming methods where the traditional page replacement design is replaced by enhanced client-side processing and incremental server interactions. Server interactions may either refresh data or presentation controls, without the disruption in end-user experience caused by complete page replacement. Component-based designs have resulted from the increasing trend of web authors to expose APIs within their client-side code, allowing for downstream (i.e. after page-generation) extension of those components with value-added data or presentation elements not anticipated or controlled by the original page author.