Adam Bosworth continues the discussion on “various ways in which a client can browse information gleaned from web services on the net”. The options to turn information can turn into User Interface:
Attach a lot of metadata to elements. Then have a general meta-data driven rendering engine that displays information using the metadata to do so. Build a picture of the desired layout and “bind” elements and properties within it to elements of data. This is the model that, for example, VB and Powerbuilder and Access use, and it is increasingly used in the JSP community by using expressions to bind to data. This essentially makes the layout a template. Run code that dynamically emits user interface elements in whatever order it wants based on complex procedural logic. The old dBase product used to do this for example. ASP’s and JSP’s do this.