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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Doug Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 4 Jan 2001 00:20:18 -0500
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Doug Smith <[log in to unmask]>
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So let's imagine I can resurrect WebAda.

First, it did not generate executables. But with JGNAT, I'm optimistic that we can build a Java byte code executable to deliver to the user to run safely on their own machine. Other ideas are welcome.

However, one of the least appealing facets of WebAda was the use of the user's IP Address to create and maintain a separate work area where WebAda stored source and object files. Although it did not require Username/Password, it obviously created problems for users who wanted to work from different sites or used an ISP with dynamic IP addressing.

Coincidentally (or not), I've been working in the area of Web-enabled applications for several years and understand much more of what is possible. We can use e-mail addresses for username and authenticate with passwords, etc. Again, suggestions are welcome - but I can work out the obvious - tell me of the not so obvious.

The initial WebAda used the model that all source was publicly visible. When someone discovered or was given a link to some source code, they could view and optionally compile into their own work area, implicitly making a copy of the source. I wanted to encourage collaboration, but this seemed too simplistic.

The real problem is how to architect these individual work areas in such a way that communities of collaborating developers grow dynamically and successfully. What should the rules be for sharing code, copying code, etc.? How would GNAT's 'library-less' model fit well in a web-enabled Gnat compiler (without changing Gnat). This will also be resurrected on a Unix box (most likely), so consider the permission issues if you like, although I'm not sure which Web Server product will be used.

Should a user be able to specify whether their source is visible to other WebAda users? Public? By a group name? Should a body be visible? Will versioning and CM be required to avoid chaotic problems? Or will users negotiate through these problems on their own?

If you are interested in brainstorming or have leads on technical sources that discuss collaborative development environments and their architectures, let me know. I don't want to re-invent the wheel! If there are enough people interested, we can start a mailing list.

I look forward to the simple, elegant ideas that seem to make Web solutions so fascinating - and easier to implement 8^)

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