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Tracing a paradigm for externalization: Avatars and the GPII Nexus

Clark, Colin B.D. and Basman, Antranig (2017) Tracing a paradigm for externalization: Avatars and the GPII Nexus. In: Companion to the first International Conference on the Art, Science and Engineering of Programming. (Submitted)

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Abstract

We will situate the concept of an avatar (a working simulacrum of part of a system separated from
it in space or time) with respect to traditional concepts of programming language and systems design.
Whilst much theory and practice argues in favour of insulation (the creation of architectural boundaries
prohibiting the leakage of information) we will find that many successful systems take a diametrically
opposed approach. We name this family of systems as those based on externalised state transfer.
Rather than hiding implementation details behind APIs, object interfaces or similar, these systems actively
advertise their internal structure and its coordinates via data and metadata. Examples of these
systems include RESTful web applications, MIDI devices, and the DWARF debugging file format. We
discuss such systems and how we can purposefully design new systems embodying such virtues in a more
distilled form.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 22:41
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 05:53
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2059

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