Spin the Web deals with the Webbase Description Language (WBDL). Simply put,
HTML describes a single web page, WBDL, a whole web site; and, while HTML is interpreted by a client side web browser, WBDL, by a server side web spinner.
It is this project’s opinion that WBDL is a necessary, missing component in the World Wide Web space.
It must be stressed that WBDL does not replace any technology, it coordinates technologies; it focuses on contents, defining what they are, how they are organized, and where, how, and when they are rendered. Webspinners output contents on request.
WBDL can describe websites, intranets, extranets, portals, web apps, and web services, here collectively referred to as webos. It is a fundamental language for Content Management Systems (CMS).
The term webbase was first used in 1998, a name given to a relational database whose schema defined a webo: its structure, content, layout, localization, navigation and security aspects. Later, to ease portability, the webbase was formalized into the XML based Webbase Description Language (WBDL), this introduced the term webbaselet, a webbase fragment.
Contents are the fundamental elements of WBDL, they represent interactive data units (I/O) that fall in the following four categories:
- sensorial contents
- render data as free text, forms, lists, tables, plots, maps, timelines, media…
- navigational contents
- render data as links such as menus, TOC, breadcrumbs, slicers, image maps…
- organizational contents
- wrap contents in organized manners such as tabs, calendar, trees, graphs…
- special contents
- shortcut, code…
All contents explicitly declare or request the data they deal with. The other WBDL elements address higher organization (pages, areas and site), accessibility (data sources, groups and VCL) and localization (texts). WBDL has an associated layout API and a text preprocessor.
Web spinners basics