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Subject: Requirements for a Web-Based XML Yellow Pages
From: "Roger L. Costello" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 16 Mar 1999 10:47:35 -0500
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Here's my list of requirements for a Web-based XML Yellow Pages.
Anybody have other requirements?  Anybody up to the challenge of
implementing it?

** XML Yellow Pages Web Site Requirements **

(1) Can be accessed via a browser (eyeballs access).

(2) Can be programmatically accessed via an HTTP request (machine
access).  The Web site must publish an HTTP API (that is, the URL and
the legal query parameters).

Example:
<http://www.xmlyellowpages.com?category=literature&subcategory=shakespeare>

would result in returning (to the invoking program) an XML document
containing the URLs (and perhaps the company name, POC, email, etc) to
Guy Murphy's Shakespeare XML documents.

Issue: what should be the strucutre of the XML document that is
returned?

Issue: the Web site should also provide an API to allow a program to
retrieve a list of legal query parameters and their meanings.  What
should be the format of this list?

(3) The Web site may have associated domain-specific agents.  Example,
if a program were to perform an HTTP POST using the above URL, the Web
site may, in addition to returning the list of URLs, return a
Shakespeare agent that knows all about Shakespeare XML documents and
could assist the invoking program in doing searches on the Shakespeare
documents.

(4) The Web site has a mechanism by which people can submit new agents.
For example, if I write an agent that knows all about cameras on the
Internet and am gracious enough to hand it over to the Yellow Pages Web
site for others to use, then I should be able to painlessly upload it to
the Web site.

Note that this means that Agents should have a standard, well-defined
API.  Everyone developing a new Agent must code to this API.

Issue: what should the API be for Agents?  I'll take a first crack at
it:

public interface Agent {
    public SearchResult[] doSearch(Query query);
}

public interface Query {
    public void setQueryParameters(Hashtable queryParameters);
    public String getCategory();
    public String getSubCategory();
    // Apply the locally stored query to the url
    public SearchResult apply(URL url);
}

public interface SearchResult {
     public String getXMLFragment();
}

(5) The Web site has a domain name that makes it easy to find, e.g.,
www.xmlyellowpages.com (it is not taken yet).

Thoughts anyone?  /Roger

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