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1. WO2006096919 - METHOD FOR DISTRIBUTING COMPUTING BETWEEN SERVER AND CLIENT

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS
1. A method for use in running a display-based computer application, the application comprising a plurality of application segments, involving distributing computing between a server on a server computer and a client on a client computer, the server and client computers operatively interconnected by way of a computer network, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) providing a generic client engine to the client computer, the client engine comprising an application manager, one or more display managers, and one or more load managers;
(b) providing a collection of individual application subset definition files each relating to one of said application segments;
(c) wherein, on receipt of successive application subset definition files from the server, the client recursively transforms to provide the respective application segments.
2. A method according to claim 1 wherein an application subset definition file defines components or layout characteristics within one or more display areas associated with the respective segment.
3. A method according to claim 2 wherein an application subset definition file defines only information relating to component or layout characteristics to be added or removed between successive client updates.
4. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the application definition files are formatted in an application definition mark-up language.
5. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the application manager is adapted to run as a separate client-side layer, to manage variables associated with each application segment, the application manager including:
(a) controlling means for controlling interaction between resident display areas;
(b) loading means for asynchronous loading of images into display areas;
(c) caching means for controlling caching of images; and (d) parsing means for parsing application subset definition files.
6. A method according to claim 5, wherein the parsing means is adapted for parsing compressed application definition files.
7. A method according to claim 5 or claim 6, wherein the caching means includes means to destroy in the client memory, after a cache period, cached images for an application segment when initiating the caching of cached images for a subsequent application segment.
8. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the application manager includes one or more of:
(a) gateway placeholder means for short-duration instantiated objects;
(b) memory management means between application subset transitions;
(c) storage means for hash tables, arrays and variables; and
(d) interface means to online/offline cache control management classes.

9. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 8 wherein the one or more display managers include one or more of the following components:
(a) initialisation and construction means;
(b) component and sub-component layout means;
(c) data validation means;
(d) event handling means;
(e) means for data synchronisation across display subset transitions both internally within an application subset and externally across application
subsets; and
(f) means for storage of component or container objects and associated component or container information.
10. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 9 wherein the one or more load managers include one or more of the following components:
(a) url parser means to asynchronously load and parse remote application subset definition files by way of url parser threads;

(b) watchdog means configured to be instantiated by the url parser means to perform a timeout on a url parser thread; and
(c) loader means configured to be instantiated at the end of a url parser thread lifespan.
11. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the generic client engine further includes one or more publication managers, configured to
periodically check the connection status with said server computer and to invoke delivery of client-side stored data to the server computer.
12. A method according to any one of claims 1 to 11 implemented in a browser-independent manner.
13- A computer program embodied on a computer readable medium for carrying out the method according to any one of claims 1 to 12.
14. A distributed computing system for running a display-based computer application, the application comprising a plurality of application segments, the system comprising:
(a) a client device;
(b) a server computer operatively interconnected to the client device by way of a computer network;
(c) a generic client engine installed on the client device, the client engine comprising an application manager, one or more display managers, and one or more load managers; and
(d) a collection of individual application subset definition files each relating to one of said application segments;
wherein the client device is configured to recursively transform to provide the respective application segments on receipt of successive application subset definition files from the server computer.
15. A system according to claim 14 wherein an application subset definition file defines components or layout characteristics within one or more display areas associated with the respective segment.

16. A system according to claim 15 wherein an application subset definition file defines only information relating to component or layout characteristics to be added or removed between successive client updates.
17. A system according to any one of claims 14 to 16, wherein the application manager is adapted to run as a separate client-side layer, to manage variables associated with each application segment, the application manager including:
(a) controlling means for controlling interaction between resident display areas;
(b) loading means for asynchronous loading of images into display areas; (c) caching means for controlling caching of images; and
(d) parsing means for parsing application subset definition files.
18. A system according to claim 17, wherein the parsing means is adapted for parsing compressed application definition files.
19. A system according to claim 17 or claim 18, wherein the caching means includes means to destroy in the client memory cached images for an application segment when initiating the caching of cached images for a subsequent application segment.
20. A system according to any one of claims 14 to 19, wherein the application manager includes one or more of:
(a) gateway placeholder means for short-duration instantiated objects;
(b) memory management means between application subset transitions;

(c) storage means for hash tables, arrays and variables; and
(d) interface means to online/offline cache control management classes.

21. A system according to any one of claims 14 to 20 wherein the one or more display managers include one or more of the following components:
(a) initialisation and construction means;
(b) component and sub-component layout means;
(c) data validation means;

(d) event handling means;
(e) means for data synchronization across display subset transitions both internally within an application subset and externally across application
subsets; and
(f) means for storage of component or container objects and associated component or container information.
22. A system according to any one of claims 14 to 21 wherein the one or more load managers include one or more of the following components:
(a) url parser means to asynchronously load and parse remote application subset definition files by way of url parser threads;
(b) watchdog means configured to be instantiated by the url parser means to perform a timeout on a url parser thread; and
(c) loader means configured to be instantiated at the end of a url parser thread lifespan.
23. A method according to any one of claims 14 to 22, wherein the generic client engine further includes one or more publication managers, configured to
periodically check the connection status with said server computer and to invoke delivery of client-side stored data to the server computer.