WWW95: IDLE: unified WWW access to interactive servers


this paper won the 2nd price for the best paper in darmstadt !

  1. abstract
  2. this paper focuses on the problem of accessing interactive information servers directly with a WWW browser instead of opening an additional viewer (e.g. a terminal emulation program). IDLE is a language designed to describe the user interface of interactive information servers in a way that allows automatic translation of WWW-requests to server-commands.

  3. my comment
  4. Louis Perrochon from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (ETHZ) presented a translation server, which provides access to an interactive service from a WWW browser. more precisely, he presented his implementation of a language to program such a translation server.

    while the interaction between a Web client and a Web server is stateless, the interaction with an interactive service is usually state driven. therefore the translation server keeps track of the state. but it also provides the user with forms to enter data required by the interactive service and converts the output from the server into HTML documents.

    i believe the implementation of the translation server using the Interface Description LanguagE (IDLE) is done very nicely. it will speed up the integration of an interactive service into the Web dramatically. as a first step, this is a very reasonable approach. as a long term solution however, it may still be desirable to write a gateway to provide faster and more efficient access to the underlying data or database.


this paper is available on the Web.
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IDLE / 16-may-95 (ra) / reto ambühler