NetKernel News Volume 4 Issue 15 - Resource Oriented Architecture for Webs of Data, State Machines, Eclipse Plugin

NetKernel News Volume 4 Issue 15

May 31st 2013

Catch up on last week's news here, or see full volume index.

Repository Updates

The following updates are available in the NKEE and NKSE repositories

  • layer0-1.99.1
  • nkse-dev-tools-1.52.1
    • Added indexing of endpoint id to the master search system.
    • Fixed floating point formatting for countries using localized decimal point.
    • Thanks to Stefan199
  • nkse-doc-content-1.45.1
    • Minor edits

The following update is available in the NKEE repository

  • nkee-doc-content-1.4.1
    • Added documentation for unattended install.

NEW: Tony's Blog - State Machines are coming down and we're gonna have a party

Tony has implemented a very powerful new capability to the NetKernel toolset: the ability to define and execute Hierarchical State Machine's in a Resource-Oriented manner.

Each state machine model is a resource, as is any given set of state and the transition events. Each state transition triggers resource requests to be issued into the ROC domain.

You can dynamically define complex state systems that can be executed and seamlessly persisted to implement long-lived transactional interactions - think things like long-lived web flows, order processing etc. But because this is still the lightweight ROC-world, you can implement short-lived fast-cycle state transition architectures too - things like message processing systems or ... games for instance...

The State Machine endpoint implements the Runtime pattern - which, you'll appreciate the irony, means we have the world's first stateless state machines!

Tony provides more details in his blog together with a nifty demo (you'll need a friend to join the demo so that you'll have someone to play ROC Hockey with. Please don't go mad sharing the demo's location yet - its currently only running on an experimental staging server at the end of a damp piece of string)...

The State Machine capability is essentially complete (docs and tutorials TBD) and opens up a world of very cool possibilities. If this hits home and fills an immediate need then please get in touch to get early access. We'll be making a full release with more information and discussing the kinds of new systems it enables in the near future...

NEW: Carl's NetKernel Eclipse Plugin

Carl Conradie has written an Eclipse Plugin which he has asked us to share. It enables you to access and control your NetKernel installation as a server within the Eclipse JST Server Adapter framework. Think of this as making NetKernel available within Eclipse just like Tomcat or Jetty etc.

So far it supports starting and stopping NetKernel but Carl has ambitions to allow it to support module deployments by automating the adding of entries in NK's modules.d/ directory. And beyond that template-based module wizards etc.

It's very new, but in my testing it does exactly what it was designed for and is very slick.

Download / Source

For the moment, you can download the plugin jar file here...


Carl plans to host a GitHub community project with the sources and welcomes suggestions and contributions. But for now, a snapshot of the full source code for the project is available here...

Installation / Operation

To install the plugin into Eclipse just drop the jar into your Eclipse plugins/ folder and restart Eclipse.

Note: if you use a basic version of Eclipse you may need to install the "JST Server Adapters" via Eclipse's built-in plugin installer.

Below are a series of screenshots showing the steps to set up a NetKernel server adapter. To start and stop NK just bring up the "Servers" view and hit Start - NK will start to boot and will report its progress inside your regular Eclipse console.

Fantastic work Carl ! Thank you.

NEW: Brian's Book - Resource-Oriented Architecture Patterns for Webs of Data

Brian Sletten's long anticipated Resource-Oriented architecture patterns book has been published. It's a great reference work that builds from the most elementary concept of "Information Resource" to sophisticated multi-layered patterns.

To the world of REST many of the patterns will be brand new. To the ROCer you'll find familiar friends and some great new ways of thinking about them...

The surge of interest in the REpresentational State Transfer (REST) architectural style, the Semantic Web, and Linked Data has resulted in the development of innovative, flexible, and powerful systems that embrace one or more of these compatible technologies. However, most developers, architects, Information Technology managers, and platform owners have only been exposed to the basics of resource-oriented architectures. This book is an attempt to catalog and elucidate several reusable solutions that have been seen in the wild in the now increasingly familiar "patterns book" style. These are not turn key implementations, but rather, useful strategies for solving certain problems in the development of modern, resource-oriented systems, both on the public Web and within an organization's firewalls.

Now Available From Amazon Here

Sticker Offer

We had a great response to the stickers and we've received some excellent images of your blinged-up laptops. We still have a few left. So if you missed out last week then drop us a line with your postal address and we'll get some to you.

What people did before Social Media

I live just round the corner from this. Last weekend was the annual event. The winner was an American guy who came over specially for it ...

If you don't have a convenient hill, or your local cheese is square, then we also have a failover option (Tony and I have been known to resort to this to settle disputed ROCHockey games).

Cheese Rolling, Shin Kicking, ROC Hockey - there's got to be some kind of lay-line here.

Have a great weekend.


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