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Community & Business Groups

Interactive APIs Community Group

The goal of the Interactive API Community Group is to develop an HTML annotation approach - similar in spirit and style to micro-formats - to equip a piece of UI (e.g., parts of a web page, such as a table or a sub-area) with a programmable interface (API). That is, the goal is to equip pieces of UI with dynamic and programmable behavior, so as to foster reuse on the Web and enable a set of web-based integration scenarios that are currently more the result of hacking and less of principled software development: programmatically operating UIs, extracting data, extracting application logic, and cloning pieces of UIs. The intuition is to design a new type of interpreted API, the so-called interactive API (iAPI), that enables (i) programmatic access to UIs and (ii) interactive, live programming. The purpose of iAPIs is not merely to provide access to static content inside a web page, but rather to bridge between the Surface Web (the UIs) and the Deep Web (common web APIs and web services). The concrete results this Group aims to produce are therefore: - An HTML annotation format for the specification of iAPIs; - An set of programming abstractions and code libraries for iAPI programming; and - A set of supporting browser extensions for iAPI parsing and instantiation. The final vision is twofold: first, to found a programming paradigm based on the reuse of UIs, i.e., UI-oriented computing; second, to enable interactive, live reuse to non-programmers directly inside the web browser.

Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.

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Welcome

Hi everyone,

Glad to have you on board! Hope we can organize a nice discussion via this Community Group.

As you probably read in the general description of this Group, the goal of this Group is to develop an annotation format that enables the extraction of dynamic content and functionality from annotated HTML web pages. Here a short video of how the resulting reuse paradigm could feel like in practice:

The vision of the interactive reused paradigm enabled by iAPIs in practice

(“TPI” is the former code name for iAPIs)

The video is just one possible idea; there may be other, better interactive paradigms. The question we want to answer here is how to enable the browser to be aware of iAPIs.

We are working on a first proof-of-concept prototype composed of a very simple annotation and a browser plug-in to turn the partly fake video into practice…