I just finished reading that article on Ajaxian that pointed me to Eventsites.

What is EventSites?

Eventsites is a mashup. It’s a web application that uses data and functionality provided by external web services.

  • Eventsites uses no database of its own
  • The only server logic is a single redirect script enabling cross-domain XHR requests
  • All the functionality of the site comes from other websites

So how it works? Simple: it use existing web services likes EVDB, Google Maps and Flickr to create a service of its own: EventSites. EventSites is only an interface, a sort of hub that links these three web services together. EVDB will archive the events’ information, Google will show where the events are in the World and Flickr will host the events’ photos.

Some problems with EventSites

One of the small problems I see with EventSites (like too many other Ajax web sites) is that it only works on FireFox. The problem with Ajax interfaces is that you have to use tricks to make it works the same way on all browsers. This is really time consuming and it is why some developers only make it works on FireFox and/or Internet Explorer. Personally if I am not able to make a functionality working on Opera, Safari, FireFox and Internet Explorer I do not implement it in the Web interface.

Another thing is that most of EventSites’ source code is publicly available because it uses Javascript scripts. It uses some server side things but not that much. This is not a problem in itself but we will see much more copycat web sites wandering on the Web than we currently do see with bookmarking web sites for example.

Sharing the functionalities

The idea of a Web built by web services is somewhat old. However it is not until recently that Web developers (most without any budgets) have been able to create useful mashups with using the existing web services. A mix of powerful open source technologies, low cost hardware and bandwidth, created a great environment that let us see see such services emerging on the Web, and EventSites is one great example.

Sharing the content

More and more functionalities are freely shared on the Web via web services. Functionalities are a thing, but content is another thing. In the best world we will have both: services that share functionalities, and services that share content.

The first step in that direction have been done: a major content publisher created an architecture to freely share its content, meaningful to machines (using ontologies and ontology languages to format the content files), over the Internet. Yup, I am talking about the BBC.

Naturally it is in that direction where I push Talk Digger (as a content sharing web service). Using an ontology describing what a [Web] conversation is, other people will be able to retrieve, analyze and display the information in their mashups.

I can’t wait to see which services will emerge in such an network environment.

Other resources about EventSites:

Eventsites: serverless web-development
Eventsites Architecture
Componentising the web

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