Kevin Lynch on Central, A Type-2 Web Services Application Framework


Kevin Lynch from Macromedia is talking about an upcoming macromedia product called Central (whitepaper in PDF). Central is an example of some of the rich internet applications that people are developing. Apple's Sherlock is another example. One way to think of Central is "internet as desktop" but done more much "right" than Microsoft's attempt to just turn the desktop into a browser. Central allows users to link chunks of data from various sources and tie Internet-based applications together. The following concepts are important to Central:

  • instant delivery
  • occasionally connected computing
  • cooperative applications
  • open data, which I think means decoupling data from applications
  • context, meaning apps know more about the user and the user's current situation.
  • collaboration

Of course, standards like RSS and Web services are important to making this work. Kevin sees Central as the glue that can tie these things together. I call these kind of applications "type-2" Web services-based applications. Type-1 Web services applications are built using application networks like those being pioneered by Web services brokers like Grand Central. Type-2 Web services applications are those built using rich internet applications like Central. In that sense, Central is a Type-2 Web services application framework.