Congratulations on your paper re: KnowNow

David Kearney
Mon, 15 Apr 2002 15:09:20 +0930

Dear Rohit Khare (and his maill list) and my coauthors,

It was a pleasant surprize to get your email. 

For your interest our team here on this topic comprizes a PhD student (Weiquan)
myself as an academic staff member and an honours student (John Paul). The
basic idea for the need for a technology such as know now came from Weiquan who
was the first to coin the term execution segmentation when discussing web based
applications. This is the excessive fragmentation of web pages forced by HTTP.
There is a book chapter soon to become available  which explains these concepts
in more detail together with outrher issues he has identified.[Architectural
Issues of Web-Enabled Electronic Business, edited by Shi Nansi, Idea Group
Publishing, 2002] We saw KnowNow as a way around this problem which we wanted
to incorporate into our new architecture. There are other ways but they are not
so elegant.

Perhaps you could tell me something about your email list participants. Can
Mike tell us who he is?

The last two items on you comments are not something we have really considered
since our work is less commercial that the companies (perhaps to be expected)
But to answer these comments and I think the implication of Miks comment is
that yes we have an architecture that is not necessarily closely dependant on a
single server or evenJ2EE. In fact we now think J2EE is a bit low level in
terms of what we are proposing. We are however strong on the idea that the
current "blue print" approach to designing these complex distributed
applications we call web based applications is disorganized and seems to be a
return to the bad old days of Basic goto code. We think that the MVC is far too
simple to be scalable. There is a definite need for organization to be brought
to the field and we do not think anyone in industry will provide it (Know Now
excepted perhaps :-) ) because everyone in industry is trying to establish turf
through bottom up thinking "If I provide this missing functionality I can
control it". "If I suggest a new architecture I cannot make money out of it
because I cannot control it." This may be where University research comes in.

I would be interested in continuing this discussion but am not sure if all
others are!

Over to you. (If you ever make it to Australia look us up) We travel often but
i have no immediate plans for the US just at the moment but may be in Europe
early september and as its a long way to go I might stop over in the US on the
way home.


Dr. David Kearney B.E. (Hons 1) UNSW M.E. (UniSA) PhD (QUT)

Computer and Information Science
University of South Australia
+61 8 83023287 (phone)
+61 8 83023381 (fax) (email) (web)

> ----------
> From: 	Mr. FoRK
> Sent: 	Saturday, April 13, 2002 11:26 am
> To:;;
>; Rohit Khare
> Cc: 	Richard Taylor; FoRK@XeNT.Com
> Subject: 	Re: Congratulations on your paper re: KnowNow
> Their framing of MVC over J2EE misses the point of a 'web' application. In a
> Web application, the 'model' is not the internal j2ee entity beans, but
> rather the resources addressable outside a single server (or cluster of
> servers).
> Just considering a J2EE server as the 'bounded object set', the MVC view
> does somewhat fit over entity-bean/JSP/session-bean, but it still doesn't
> quite feel right.
> Mike
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rohit Khare" <>
> To: <>; <>;
> <>
> Cc: "Richard Taylor" <>; <FoRK@XeNT.Com>
> Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 12:46 AM
> Subject: Congratulations on your paper re: KnowNow
> > Gentlemen --
> >
> > I was quite pleased to see your latest work from DSTC:
> >
> >
> > Not least, of course, for your valuable analysis and demonstration of
> > the basic insights behind KnowNow's technology. I am perhaps even
> > more impressed that these ideas shone through clearly enough you
> > could construct this _without_ being indoctrinated by any of our
> > employees... !
> >
> > A few of my first impressions:
> >
> > * You are indeed correct that there is a bit more to converting a
> > J2EE app "back" into a real MVC app than sprinkling r/t widgets into
> > JSPs. Entire chunks of functionality have to be rewritten into
> > "single-page applications" (a rhetorical flourish I credit to
> > OpenTibet, actually). The analogy I originally proposed was to call
> > our applications ESPs (event server pages) to convey that sense.
> > Another idea bandied about was ACPs (active client pages) to make it
> > clear that the processing burden was on the client side. Dialing the
> > psychic hotline at 1-800-KNOW-NOW clinched it, though...
> >
> > * The reason I called them microservers was that they indeed were
> > intended to be substitutes for the lack of IP-addressible HTTP
> > servers on the client machines. By reducing them to a form that could
> > be embedded within a document scripting language (DHTML, VBA) and
> > punching out persistent connections, we invented a commercially
> > relevant transitional technology that simulated real HTTP
> > client/server pairs at each node.
> >
> > *  One explanatory construct that doesn't come through as clearly in
> > our current generation products is the role of active proxies. The
> > theoretical extension was that rather than, say, directly POSTing a
> > new bid to's server, you could proxy that through a KN
> > Router, which would _also_ POST it to lots of servers sitting inside
> > the pages of other interested bidders' browsers at the same moment.
> > In essence, I view our technology as a way to attach subscribing
> > servers to the _end_ of a proxy chain. See also Microsoft's proposal
> > for WS-Routing and very early work at W3C on PEP. And, of course, a
> > proxy can be inserted on a subscriber's path that can filter,
> > transform, and analyze message flows as well, which is the basis for
> > our plug-in architecture for content routing.
> >
> > * Finally, the essential aspect of our product that has yet to come
> > into its own is why we call it a router: multiprotocol support. Just
> > as a Layer 3 router works to interconnect various LAN protocols
> > (DECnet, AppleTalk, Novell IPX) by internally casting all traffic as
> > IP and dispatching it as IP; our vision for an application-layer
> > router is a way to connect user applications that speak HTTP, SMTP,
> > NNTP, FTP, and so on by upconverting to a protocol that looks
> > suspiciously like SOAP. Hence, SOAP Routing. Of course, that's
> > another matter for now... I'll be writing more about it in my PhD
> > thesis this summer.
> >
> > Once again, my thanks for your work! Do let me know how we I can be
> > of assistance.
> >    Rohit Khare
> >    Founder & CTO
> >    KnowNow
> >    (on leave at UC Irvine)
> >
> >
> >
> >