[FoRK] PARC and ubiquity: The Obje Software Architecture

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Tue Mar 2 10:17:48 PST 2004

DASADA meets REST implemented without Indigo.


jbone at place.org wrote:

> Fun, fun.  Now where's the agora? ;-)
> -- 
>     http://www.parc.com/research/csl/projects/obje/
> The Obje™ Software Architecture
> The Obje™ software architecture is an interconnection technology that 
> enables digital devices and services to easily interoperate over both 
> wired and wireless networks. It provides a simple "meta standard" for 
> interoperation that enables people to access information and services 
> from anywhere, in a completely hassle-free, ad hoc manner.
> "Thirty years ago, PARC reinvented the software industry with the notion 
> of object-oriented programming. Today the most famous of research labs 
> is applying many of the same ideas to mobile hardware, and the results 
> could be just as revolutionary."
>       - Cade Metz, PC Magazine
> By providing a uniform solution to interoperation, the Obje platform 
> makes it easier for suppliers to build devices and services that work 
> together. Putting assembly control into the hands of end-users also 
> reduces the burden of developing applications, because particular 
> customization can be performed in context.
> Standards-Independent
> The Obje platform works with all standards, including those that have 
> not yet been defined. It requires no central coordination, 
> pre-configuring, or special set-up, and can be easily used by people 
> with no technical expertise.
> It provides users a way to combine devices to build simple solutions for 
> hundreds of problems – easily assembling their particular applications 
> from available devices and services. It offers manufacturers a simple, 
> fast, and timely solution to the increasing requirement to connect 
> products.
> The Obje platform works with devices of all kinds – including cell 
> phones, computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), printers, set-top 
> boxes, bar-code scanners, video displays, and others – from any 
> manufacturer.
> How it works
> Typically, communication among devices or services is structured into 
> layers of protocols. Agreement on all layers is required before the 
> devices and services are built. Developing and gaining acceptance of 
> these agreements is a long, costly process that depends on broad 
> industry consensus.
> The Obje Interoperability Platform builds upon other industry standards. 
> For example, it can run on top of any mobile code mechanism, such as 
> Jini. Pyramid of protocol layers.
> Instead of working out all agreements in advance, The Obje platform 
> specifies a few very general agreements in the form of 
> domain-independent programmatic "meta-interfaces". These meta-interfaces 
> use mobile code to allow new agreements to be put in place at run-time, 
> enabling devices and services to dynamically extend the capabilities of 
> their clients.
> The Obje meta-interfaces reduce the number of agreements that must be 
> made between communicating entities. All Obje devices or services, which 
> are called “components,” implement and make use of one or more of these 
> meta-interfaces.
> Applications
> The PARC research team has developed a wide variety of components and 
> applications that require the architecture to cope with diverse 
> performance, security, and usability requirements, as well as a variety 
> of data types.
> Applications include a multimedia set top box, a public display system, 
> and a system called “Casca,” which enables members of a team to share 
> documents and device resources such as cameras, printers, and speakers.
> While Casca was designed to be a collaborative tool, no component 
> functionality was hardwired into it. For example, Casca was not 
> specifically written to support video conferencing, but it could acquire 
> that functionality as soon as members of the group shared cameras, 
> speakers, and microphones.
> These applications demonstrate that the Obje platform supports a wide 
> range of applications and components.
> The Obje platform is a key enabler for PARC’s vision of ubiquitous 
> computing, in which people are able to connect with the computation that 
> is all around them, no matter where they are or what type of device they 
> are using. It overcomes the problem of multiple, incompatible standards 
> that prevents ubiquitous computing from becoming a reality.
> Licensing
> PARC is seeking corporate partners interested in leveraging the Obje 
> platform inside their own products and applications. To learn more, 
> please contact Hermann Calabria, Business Development, 650-812-4751.
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Gregory Alan Bolcer, CTO  | work: +1.949.833.2800
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