Just dumping a few links to some prototype Open Source projects I’ve run into recently, which are notable both because they’re pushing the frontiers and because looking at the code gives cause for optimism.
http://phprestsql.sourceforge.net/ – publish your MySQL database directly via PHP as XML, with nice friendly URLs (although can we eliminate the ‘?’).
Initial issues that spring to my mind here, without having looked too deeply
– paged result sets? Without them what happens when you have many rows…
– tag naming. Do we want tags called ‘table’ and ‘row’. Keith recently raised what may be a related question here – replace ‘table’ with the plural (e.g. ‘users’) and ‘row’ with the singular (e.g. ‘user’)?
http://xulrecordset.sourceforge.net/ – “xulRecordset is a project to create XUL widget library with a recordset behaviour.”. What’s cool about this is the way it uses XBL to extend the XUL tagset and make the record set easy to work with (plus it’s also using JPSpan so yet more bias). The remote API is probably too fine grained right now for decent performance – added my thoughts here but think the general notion is a big step in the right direction.
Patronizing and irritating aside (excuse me): if you want to get beyond a prototype, don’t forget your PHP unit tests (or JSUnit – attempt at JS mocks here).
One further thing about map.search.ch – the “back end” is mapdata.search.ch – here’s the critical line from LiveHttpHeaders in the response to a request to http://mapdata.search.ch/;
Speaks for itself.