Uncle Unc 0.25.5

Uncle Unc is a generic framework for network-based services.

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LICENSE TYPE:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
USER RATING:
UNRATED
  0.0/5
DEVELOPED BY:
Dave Crane
HOMEPAGE:
uncleunc.sourceforge.net
CATEGORY:
ROOT \ Internet \ HTTP (WWW)
1 Uncle Unc Screenshot:
Uncle Unc
Uncle Unc is an application that provides an integrated view of structured data sources. Using a very flexible and powerful representation model, many services can be represented in Uncle Unc.

Uncle Unc is a framework for network data-sharing, enabling remote administration and access to a range of services from a range of clients, using a simple text-based protocol that isn't tied to any platform, operating system or programming language.

Uncle Unc is a toolkit for agile development of interfaces to network services that are easy to maintain, and will grow as the service grows.

At the heart of Uncle Unc is a small generic specification of what a information-based network service might look like. This specification is very generic, and free of reference to any specific technologies or buzz-words.

It is based on the simple observation that much of the time we spend with computers is spent organising and categorising data, pushing data from one box to another, and invoking actions on that data. Most user interfaces attempt to represent this activity for a single type of data, such as a mailbox, a filesystem, a relational database, a network of computers or a music collection. Uncle Unc provides a framework that makes it easy to interact with any data source.

If you feel constrained by the user interfaces you are using (or developing!), or frustrated by having to use a poorly-designed user interface for a particular task, then Uncle Unc may turn out to be a good friend!

Uncle Unc is based on the simple observation that much of the time we spend with computers is spent organising and categorising data, pushing data from one box to another, and invoking actions on that data. Arguably, we ought to spend less time doing this sort of thing and get out into the fresh air more! At the very least, we should be able to do it efficiently and effectively. The more energy we expend on wrestling with the user interface in order to get these low-level jobs done, the less we will have to deal with the high-level problem-solving tasks that can make the difference between work and gainful productivity.

Let's call this low-level categorisation activity as 'stamp collecting', at the risk of offending philatelists. Most user interfaces attempt to represent stamp-collecting activities for a single type of data, such as a mailbox, a filesystem, a relational database, a network of computers or a music collection. Uncle Unc provides a framework that makes it easy to interact with any data source at this level.By doing it once, we can take the time and effort to do it well, so that it doesn't intrude on the user's activities unduly.

Computing is a rapidly changing field, full of powerful new uses for computers such as digital multimedia, realistic graphics and artificial intelligence. And yet much of the time that we use computers, we are performing essentially the same stamp-collecting tasks that we did twenty years ago.

Even when dealing with the new high-powered uses of computers, this is the case. How much of a digital music player program's code is devoted to playing the music, compared to sorting through and organising album playtracks (and which does the user spend most of their time doing?). 3D graphics and neural network designer applications have a similar requirement to present their internal information in a useful way to the end-user.

There is currently little cohesion in the way that software developers address these tasks. Each application codes its own listings widgets. Some have sortable fields. Some have filters. Some can divide the results into pages. Most do some things quite well, some badly, and some not at all. Most will present the interface in a single medium - as a desktop application, or a HTML web interface, a java applet, a flash movie, or whatever. Most will run on a limited number of platforms, Operating Systems or browsers.

This situation restricts the exposure of the application behind the interface, by tying it to that interface. It also limits the exposure of a front-end to a single application. The proverbial wheel is frequently re-invented, and often under tight pressures of time and resources, with less than desirable results.

Uncle Unc is an attempt to develop a generic component framework that allows many different structured data-sorting tasks to be harnessed in a manageable way. A small central set of open interfaces serve as a broker between any client and any service, giving the owners of the network the maximum degree of flexibility. In the language of Desiogn Patterns, Uncle Unc implements a bridge pattern between list-like clients and list-like servers.

Last updated on May 5th, 2005

feature list

#generic framework #network-based services #integrated view #framework #network-based #services

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