Human Interaction Engine
Wolffysoft's primary HTML generation technology is the core to its Human-Computer Interface. Incorporating the power of web technologies Webblaze allows feature rich web pages to be generated on the fly. The entire process cleanly isolates the work of the presentation creator from the back end developer and brings the processing performance to the platform independent Web Browser.
*Wolffysoft is optimized for Firefox.
Straight From Class
This project began as part of course study within DePaul University's Distributed Systems core fundamentals. Distributed systems course 420 required a project to create dynamic web content in html. It demonstrated the use of a simple technology called CGI (common gateway interface) and would generate output programmatically based on user navigation selections.
The developing of this project created a codebase that became the foundation dynamic websites. It was modified to generate simple segments of updates into content for use on the gaspar.net website. This new project automated the html formatting process to create a rich looking website based on the content of a few text files (as shown in thumbnail) and given the name GNet.
New distributed technologies were required using the concepts of stack building and compilation, thus a new project that processed html files containing special tags was born. Leaving the older file only compilation behind, GNet took on the name Webblaze. The early versions still ran as a CGI application and gathered information from configuration files to determine which html segments needed to be generated. Resulting from a COM course, the interface for dynamic Webblaze objects was born including run time dynamic discovery of required objects to generate the code segment based on specific input data.
The Webblaze project today is in its second (Laredo) generation which separates layout from content even more by placing all the layout into separate CSS responsibilites. A simple homework assignment morphed into a real world application demonstrating Wolffysoft's commitment to borh code reuse and evolving technologies.
Under The Hood
To keep page layout separate from page content Webblaze parses out tags embedded in a HTML file. This allows files to be generated in any HTML editor keeping, the system flexible. The process begins with templates. Items that will be common across one or more files can be placed inside the template keeping elements in a single location. Webblaze processes tags in a recursive manner, completing when all tags are processed. Debugging is kept simple as errors are recorded as comments in the resulting html assisting developers while end users aren't presented with technical feedback.
Webblaze tags follow a standard format so any number of processing objects can be added to the system. The Webblaze application includes a means for adding plug-in modules to support future and custom objects thus giving Webblaze the custom functionality needed to be the central content generator for projects that require web application front ends. As of the Kaspyr edition, Webblaze supports the HTML 4 standard. Special features that may be required going forward with HTML 5 can be added via these custom modules.
This design allows for a clean separation of developers coding and the process of presenting by page designers preserving workflow boundaries.
Webblaze is the technology behind this website. There are currently no plans to make Webblaze a standalone solution. Future enhanced versions will continue evolving the platform that derived from the GNet University assignment growing to the robust engine to our web based solutions.